Star Party and Guest Speaker

Oracle State Park

March 24, 2018   6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

March is Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Awareness month! Dr. John Barantine of the International Dark-Sky Association, returns to offer a program beginning at 6pm. “Under Ancient Skies: The Archaeo-astronomy of the Desert Southwest”. The night sky has been a powerful point of connection between humanity and nature since long before the start of recorded history. For ancient peoples, fascination with the stars reached well beyond aesthetic appreciation and intellectual curiosity about the sky, touching on aspects of religious faith and the keeping of calendars for agricultural and ceremonial purposes. Among the prehistoric peoples of the southwest, there is evidence from architectural alignments, rock art, and items of material culture that suggests the ancient inhabitants of the Four Corners states were keen sky-watchers. John will review some examples of this evidence to illustrate the ancients’ sophisticated understanding of the sky, and how it defined their view of the Earth’s place in the cosmos. The talk will be followed by a Star Party from 7:00pm-9:00pm, thanks to telescopes and interpretation of night sky objects by the Tucson Amateur Astronomer’s Association. A reservation is suggested for the 6pm talk, (520) 896-2425; free with park admission.