Hear it for Hill Country Night Sky Month!

As a person interested in astronomy, I have a vested interest in the best night sky quality possible, and for now that depends on where I am. In Canyon Lake our night sky is decent, in Houston it was…no…it pretty much didn’t exist. I’m sure for Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and other cities of size, the night sky is mostly a darkish gray at best.

Closer to me, New Braunfels and San Marcos are on the cusp. They’re at a point where they can stop, even reverse the “light the night” syndrome so many developers, businesses, and homeowners have. Before you get ready to write a complaint to this paper, please know I am in no way against lighting the night. I am against unnecessarily lighting the night sky. That’s a different thing.

Here is where the Hill Country Alliance comes in. The folks at HCA are champions, defenders of our natural resources, all of them. One of the natural resources they champion is our night sky and to that end they have developed  Hill Country Night Sky Month. It begins on October 1st, running to the end of October, Halloween. This is a month-long celebration about the night sky. With a party atmosphere of local festivities, educational programs and night sky events, Hill Country Night Sky Month is for everyone.

If you’re skeptical this is the perfect way to check out why so many people are involved. Get your questions addressed, even answered.

Here is a partial list of what’s happening in October for this year’s Hill Country Night Sky Month. There will be more so check HCA’s website frequently!

October 1: 8:30 – 10:30 PM. Canyon Lake, Tye Preston Memorial Library-Astronomy Night Star Party.  It’s also International Observe the Moon Night no matter where you are!

October 6: 6:00-9:00 PM. Dripping Springs-Dark Skies Fall Outdoor Dinner

October 7: Noon-2:00PM. Canyon Lake, Tye Preston Memorial Library-Saving Dark Skies Lunch and Learn.

October 9: 8-9PM. From your own yard-Hill Country Backyard Howl (at the Moon). 8-9:30PM. Wimberly-Howl at the Moon Dance Party. 8:30-9 PM. Wimberly-Hill Country Howl.

October 15: 7-10PM. Austin-Lost Creek Star Party. 7-10PM Government Canyon State Natural Area-Explore the Night Sky

October 22: 7:30-9PM. Wimberly-Blue Hole Star Party. 7:30-9:30PM. Canyon Lake-Tye Preston Memorial Library Astronomy Night

October 29: 4-10PM. Wimberly-BOO! Hole Halloween

The Hill Country Alliance will be adding events as they come in. Their calendar of events will also have details about each event. For details: hillcountryalliance.org

Let’s get ready to party under hill country skies – light up the party but not the night sky. Why? Light up the night sky and lose it. Might as well be in Dallas.

What’s in the Sky?

September 26; 10pm; south to southwest: Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn are lined up. You will need binoculars at least to see Neptune.

September 30; 45 minutes after sunset; southwest: A waxing crescent Moon is above and to the left of Antares (Scorpius).

October 1; 8:30-10:30 PM: Astronomy Night at Tye Preston Memorial Library, Canyon Lake