When one lives in the country, it is easier to admire the kaleidoscope of planets that light up the beautiful night sky than in the city. However, when one can add the effectiveness of a powerful telescope, its profound beauty seems to ‘pop out at you.’
On the night of Friday, April 20, over 20 people gathered at the Craig Baptist Pavilion in New Castle to ‘stargaze’ together.
The New Castle Library scheduled a stargazing night and brought their new telescope for all to enjoy. Their posts said: “Clear skies + a new telescope + astronomy folks = a great evening.”
Martha Dillard, Treasurer, had previously read an article in the Roanoke Times about the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society and their gifts of telescopes to area libraries.
“The Board of Trustees of the library agreed that having a telescope would be a great idea, so I called and asked if our little library could participate,” she said. “A number of wealthier libraries buy the telescopes, but it was a gift from the astronomy guys to Craig’s library.”
Dan Chrisman and Ray Bradley, two instructors from the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society, demonstrated how to use the telescope and the proper way to bring in the beauty of the nighttime magical stars. (Their web page is http://www.rvasclub.org/)
The purposes of the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society are “scientific and educational and are directed toward the advancement of the understanding and appreciation of astronomy and related sciences among the society members and the public at large.”
“I would like to thank the library for putting on the stargazing as it was very interesting and informative,” Faith Cantrell shared. “The gentlemen guiding us were very knowledgeable and didn’t mind helping those of us who were novices. In addition to the moon, it was very exciting to learn each of the constellations as they appeared.”
Everyone seemed to enjoy their turn at looking through the telescope and getting to see a tidbit of how much bigger the galaxy truly is.
“This program was very informative,” Marge Lewter, President shared. “We would love to do it again later in the summer.”
The staff was grateful to the church for allowing them to use their facilities. “We are working on setting up the next stargazing night,” Lewter added.
In the near future, the library hopes to start on their new dream of adding a Community Center, a proposal topic at the May 6 Board of Supervisor’s meeting, presented by Hill Studio. During the recent Roanoke Valley Gives, they raised $2215.
“Thanks again, and I am looking forward to the next one,” one local shared. “Maybe in the next couple of years we will see Faith Cantrell dazzling the next group of curious star gazers!”