Springtime Stargazing at Town Creek Indian Mound Features Mars and Saturn
Organizers of Astronomy Night at Town Creek Indian Mound say that Mars and Saturn will put on quite a show at the next installment of the popular series.
On Saturday, April 10, at 7:45 p.m., stargazers will have an opportunity to view both of the planets in the southeastern sky. Astronomy Night is free and open to the public.
“After our long, snowy winter, this program will be the perfect time to get out and enjoy the wonderful springtime air,” said Rich Thompson, site manager. “We hope folks will bring their own binoculars and telescopes in addition to the two telescopes we will have on hand and, of course, dress for the weather.”
Mars, known as the Red Planet due to its reddish hue, will be high in the sky and easily spotted by the naked eye in the constellation Cancer. Scientists and astronomers have always had great interest in Mars and its exploration. “Spirit” and “Opportunity,” two Mars Exploration rovers, are currently collecting data on the planet in hopes of not only continuing long-term robotic exploration but of someday putting astronauts on its ruddy surface.
Saturn’s moons are putting on quite an interesting show as well. The planet’s famous rings will actually be very difficult to see due to the fact that the planet is positioned so that its rings are nearly edge-on to Earth. The ringed planet’s trademark “tea cup handles” now appear as a very thin line. This angle may allow for a better view of Saturn’s many moons.
Those interested in attending should register in advance. Contact the site at (910) 439-6802 or at email@example.com.
For more than a thousand years, American Indians farmed lands later known as North Carolina. Around A.D. 1000, a new cultural tradition arrived in the Pee Dee River Valley.
Throughout Georgia, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and western and southern Piedmont North Carolina, the Mississippian tradition spawned complex societies. Inhabitants built earthen mounds for their leaders, engaged in widespread trade, supported craftspeople and celebrated a new form of religion.
In 1937, excavations began at Town Creek Indian Mound. Key features of the site were reconstructed, including the mound, two temple structures, a burial hut and surrounding stockade. Archaeologists’ excavations revealed that the mound at Town Creek was constructed over an early rectangular structure known as an “earth lodge.”
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. Tour groups are welcome and encouraged. 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.
For more information on Town Creek, visit the Web site www.towncreek.nchistoricsites.org.
Administered by the Division of State Historic Sites, Town Creek Indian Mound is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future.
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