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Monday Night: Summertime Stargazing in Pomfret

Pomfret — Journey to the hills of Wild Apple Farm tonight for some summertime stargazing, far from the lights of Lebanon.

The Upper Valley Land Trust is co-hosting its first-ever stargazing event with the farm, which is conserved by the trust, along with folks from the Pomfret Elementary School-based Horizons Observatory.

“One of the goals of the Land Trust is to get folks out on the land and seeing what is all around us,” UVLT Programs Coordinator Anna Slack said last week. “Sometimes it’s right there in front of us and we don’t even know, and sometimes it’s a little more tucked away.”

The free event runs from 8:30 to 11 p.m. tonight (Monday, Aug. 5). Organizers ask that you arrive on time in order to avoid headlights in the viewing area. Bring flashlights and sturdy footwear.

The National Weather Service is currently forecasting clear skies and a low around 46 F.

“The highlights of the night sky include the Hercules star cluster, the Ring Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, and Alberio (a lovely blue and yellow binary star system), and the Lagoon/Trifed stellar nurseries,” Slack said in an email today. “There is a possibility we may catch brilliant Venus and Saturn — the absolute jewel of the sky — before they set below the horizon.”

UVLT recommends contacting Slack at anna.slack@uvlt.org or 603-646-6626 x102 if you’re planning to attend so you can be alerted if the weather’s taking a turn. Slack can provide detailed directions to the farm, as well.

“The journey to the observation point is slightly adventurous,” organizers wrote in a post on the Upper Valley listserv last week, “so it is best if we know you are coming!”

Slack said the small challenge in getting to the event will likely be met with a large reward in the quality of stargazing.

“It is a little bit off the beaten path to get to where we’re going,” Slack said last week, “but that’s one of the things that’s cool about it. … We basically have an unobstructed horizon.”

Are you headed to Pomfret tonight? Email me at mcassidy@vnews.com to let me know how it goes.