How do you navigate using stars? What constellations are visible in February? An event this Saturday, February 10, 2024, in Diamond reveals the answers. Explore the night sky with astronomy experts at George Washington Carver National Monument.

Photo Courtesy Klemen Vrankar for Unsplash

By Sandy Selby

Come and experience the awesome beauty of the stars and planets when George Washington Carver National Monument hosts Wonder of the Night Sky. The free program takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, at the National Parks site located two miles west of Diamond. Park staff and volunteers will be joined by members of the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society for this special event that appeals to stargazers of all ages.

The park, located where it is free of light pollution, is an ideal spot for night-time sky viewing. Visitors are amazed at the skyscape that is often hidden from view in cities and towns. The event will begin with a 30-minute indoor program, followed by the sky tour. The astronomy experts on hand will talk about celestial navigation, lunar phases, and star stories. Guests will also learn important facts about George Washington Carver’s life as a scientist, educator, and humanitarian during this program.

Photo Courtesy of National Parks Service

This event typically takes place a couple of times during the winter at the park, according to park guide Valerie Baldwin. “We usually try to do it in the wintertime, before the time changes,” she says. “So we did one in December, and now we’re doing one on the 10th.

Valerie says the outdoor viewing area at the park is located right behind the visitor center and offers unimpeded views of the sky to the north, south, and east, and a partial view to the west.

Attendees are welcome to bring their own binoculars and telescopes if they wish, but Valerie says there will also be telescopes available for those who want a closer look at the celestial objects. Youngsters will earn a special Junior Ranger Night Explorer patch and certificate when they complete learning activities about the night sky.

The visitor center will open at 5:30 p.m. that evening and all participants are reminded to dress appropriately for the weather. The outdoor portion of the program will be canceled for inclement weather, although the indoor portion will still take place. Be sure to check with the park by telephone or on their social media channels for updates. No reservations are required to attend. Visit the park website at or follow on Facebook

Photo Courtesy of George Washington Carver National Monument

Featured Photo Courtesy of Frederico Beccari for Unsplash

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