Nature Center offers guided astronomy tour through Logan Canyon

Outdoor enthusiasts know there’s no better naked-eye view of the stars than out in nature and away from city lights. The Stokes Nature Center invites locals on an astronomer-guided tour of the stars through Logan Canyon February 25. The tour will take participants on cross country skis or snowshoes through parts of Logan Canyon. Local astronomer Jim Akers will guide the tour, stopping now and then to point out constellations, said program organizer Andrea Liberatore.Participants will meet at the U.S. Forest Service District Office at the mouth of Logan Canyon at 5:45 p.m. Saturday. The event is expected to last until 10 p.m.While there’s no cost to participate, coordinators suggest a $10 donation that will help fund similar programs at the Stokes Nature Center in the future. Registration is required, and can be done by calling the nature center at 755-3239 or by writing to Akers taught high school astronomy for about 15 years. He has since retired, but still has a passion for the night sky he wants to share with others. Liberatore said Akers will use a laser pointer Saturday night to point out the North Star and constellations. The night sky will be observed without telescopes.Snacks will be provided, but participants are in charge of bringing their own skis or snowshoes, headlamp or flashlight and making sure they are dressed warm enough for tromping through the cold canyon at night. The nature center does have some pairs of snowshoes that can be borrowed and those interested should contact the center. Children must be at least 15 years old to participate, and Liberatore said program planners are asking for no first timers to skis and snowshoes since the dark and cold conditions could prove difficult for anyone unfamiliar with the equipment. The forecast for Saturday predicts clouds and snow, meaning there is a chance Saturday’s event will have to be rescheduled. Those who have registered for the event will be notified if weather causes a cancellation. –

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