The Milky Way. If the weather cooperates, this is what star gazers will see on February 5.
The Milky Way. If the weather cooperates, this is what star gazers will see on February 5.

The night sky above the Outer Banks has always fascinated young and old with its beauty. Looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, perched on the edge of a continent, the stars of the Milky Way become a nighttime painting that creates a lasting memory.

That night sky is a place of fascination and mystery and the Coastal Studies Institute and a number of regional partners are working together to host a Star Party at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head on Tuesday, February 5 from 6-9 p.m.

Although the event is geared toward kids, there will be a lot for adults to learn as well. Weather permitting, there will be stargazing with astronomer Brian Baker.

Baker has been helping kids and adults to find the wonder of the night sky for 11 years. A trained astronomer, Baker is now the astronomy and space science director at A Time for Science in Greenville, North Carolina.

There will also be a portable indoor planetarium which should add to the excitement.

According to the John McCord, Assistant Director of Engagement & Outreach at the Coastal Studies Institute, the event will also include information about current research and citizen involvement in mapping the night sky in northeastern North Carolina.

February 5 is a new moon, so the night sky should be at its darkest creating the perfect night for stargazing. Our Brindley Beach team will monitor the weather. We’ll cross our fingers that the evening of February 5 will be cloud free.

The Star Gazing party is a free event, brought to the Outer Banks with funding from North Carolina Sea Grant and the North Carolina Space Program.