Town Creek Offers Astronomy Program
Visitors will have a chance to watch the fall transit of such planets as Jupiter and Venus through a high-powered telescope, Saturday, Oct. 25, at Town Creek Indian Mound in Mt. Gilead. It will also be possible to see other planets in the sky, along with such star constellations as Draco.
Open to the public, this free, outdoor astronomy program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Advance reservations are required.
"Stars" of this nighttime program will be the planets Jupiter and Venus. Using the site's telescope, participants can view Jupiter and its moons along with Venus, which will be sitting very low at sunset, but shining brightly. Other planets, including Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, will be in the night sky, although challenging to find.
Astronomy buffs will also have a chance to learn about the constellations Aquila and Draco. Called "Zeus' eagle," Aquila straddles the celestial equator, and its brightest star, Altair, is one of our nearest neighbors at 16 light years away from Earth. Draco, the Dragon, wraps around the North Pole and its stars are associated with dragons in many different mythologies. If all this weren't enough, the night sky may offer up a few stray meteors from the Orionid Meteor Shower, which peaked around Oct. 21.
Planet and star gazers are encouraged to bring their own binoculars and telescopes with them to this program so they can view other fascinating objects in the night sky. To register, call (910) 439-6802 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of Town Creek Indian Mound is to interpret the history of the American Indians who once lived here. The visitor center features interpretive exhibits, as well as audiovisual displays. A national historic landmark, Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site is North Carolina's only state historic site dedicated to American Indian heritage. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. It is closed to the public Mondays and most major holidays.
The historic site is located on Town Creek Mound Road approximately five miles east of Mt. Gilead, in southern Montgomery County between N.C. 73 and N.C. 731.
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