**UPDATE 8/10 1:30 pm**
As the thunder booms and the rain pours at my house in Hixson (after having been sunny not 20 minutes ago), here is an update on the Cloudland Canyon Star Party:
The program will take place rain or shine. If possible, it will still be held outside at the Tennis Courts, so you will need to bring chairs if you want to sit. If the weather is not cooperative, the program will be at the Interpretive Center. This call will be made at 6 pm, but we probably won't be able to get it posted online. We will make sure that Cloudland Canyon park staff know what is going on and can provide guidance for you.
At the conclusion of the Program, BAS folks will make a determination as to whether it we can safely set up telescopes for observing at the Tennis Courts.
If we determine that we cannot do actual observing, I will continue the program with a planetarium 'show' and a virtual tour of the sky (what we would have seen). I know it isn't the same, but it can be fun!
It is the nature of astronomy that we are at the mercy of the whims of Mother Nature. So far this year M.N. has blessed us with a 15 inch surplus of rain for the year...
BARNARD ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY of Chattanooga, in conjunction with the management of CLOUDLAND CANYON STATE PARK and the FRIENDS OF CLOUDLAND CANYON STATE PARK (FOCCSP) will present an informative Astronomy program followed by observation of the night sky. The program will be presented at 8 PM and will focus on IDENTIFYING CONSTELLATIONS as well as other objects in the night sky. BAS members will be on hand manning a number of telescopes to provide observations of objects that you cannot see with the naked eye. BAS members love discussing these amazing objects that you will see through their telescopes.
This event is at the beginning of the Perseid Meteor Shower - We may well see some beautiful shooting stars as well!
The program is FREE, but the normal park parking fee of $5.00 per car applies.
Equipment needed: A comfortable lawn chair, blanket and insect repellent. Flashlights are optional, but if brought must have red cellophane over the lens to protect night vision.
This event will be held at the Tennis Courts at Cloudland Canyon State Park.
Cloudland Canyon Website: http://www.gastateparks.org/CloudlandCanyon