Hartnell College, in partnership with the Pinnacles National Monument, will host a telescope viewing at the West Pinnacles visitor center at the ranger station this Friday, June 27, from 9:30 to 11 p.m. Views of Saturn, Jupiter, star clusters, and other deep sky wonders will be made available to the general public at this beautiful dark sky location. This event is free and open to the public.
Hartnell College students who are currently serving as summer interns at the Fremont Peak Observatory will be on hand to operate several small telescopes and answer questions about celestial objects. This star gazing event begins with a short talk about the Pinnacles at 9 p.m., followed by the telescope viewing. All attendees must be inside the park before 9 when the entry gate closes. There will be no admittance to the park after 9 p.m., but visitors may exit the park at any time.
This marks the first of several educational events and activities planned for the Hartnell College and Pinnacles National Monument partnership. The next "star party" will be held on the evening of Friday, August 1. In the fall, the partnership will begin a series of nature walks for interested members of the public, led by Hartnell geology instructor Bob Barminski and National Park Service educators.
The West Pinnacles are accessed by exiting highway 101 at Soledad and following the clearly marked directional signs on highway 146 for 14 miles. Information about the Park and its West Entrance may be accessed online at www.nps.gov/pinn/.
For more information contact Hartnell College Planetarium Director Andy Newton, 755-6803.