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Public Star Party: The Awe of the Milky Way

Join us in celebrating the awe inspiring nature of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. The Milky Way is home to immense clouds of gas and dust, known as star nurseries, which are set against a backdrop of billions and billions of stars. Come see a sight that, sadly, is now visible only in places like the Wet Mountain Valley because of light pollution in the more populated areas of the nation. 

Back-up date is Saturday, August 3 at 9:00pm.

Any cancellations will be made here on the Event page by 8:00pm the day of the event.

All Star Parties are free and open to the public.

The Milky Way is mythologized in cultures all around the world since the beginning of recorded history. A Cherokee folktale tells of a dog who stole some cornmeal and was chased away. He ran away to the north, spilling the cornmeal along the way. The Milky Way is thus called "The Way the Dog Ran Away". Peoples in Eastern Asia believed that the hazy band of stars was the "Silvery River" of Heaven. In one story, the stars Altair and Vega were said to be two lovers who were allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month, when a flock of magpies and crows formed a bridge over the galactic river. That day is celebrated as Qi Xi, the Seventh Night.

In Egyptian mythology, the Milky Way was considered a pool of cow's milk. The Milky Way was deified as a fertility cow-goddess by the name of Bat. The Greek name for the Milky Way (Galaxias) is derived from the Greek word for milk (γάλα, gala). One legend explains how the Milky Way was created by Heracles when he was a baby. His father, Zeus, was fond of his son, who was born of the mortal woman Alcmene. He decided to let the infant Heracles suckle on his divine wife Hera's milk when she was asleep, an act which would endow the baby with godlike qualities. When Hera woke and realized that she was breastfeeding an unknown infant, she pushed him away and the spurting milk became the Milky Way.