Science & Technology
9:54 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Brooks City-Base Hosting An Astronomy "Star Party" For South Side Of San Antonio

Staring down into the Copernicus impact crater
Staring down into the Copernicus impact crater
Credit John Kelley / SALSA

A new event is coming to the San Antonio Southeast Side this weekend.

Star gazers are hoping a clear night with fewer city lights will provide the perfect summer setting for introducing newcomers to the night sky.

The event at Brooks City-Base marks the first time a star party has come to this area of San Antonio.

Bryan Tobias with the San Antonio League of Sidewalk Astronomers (SALSA) said a clear night during the summer should yield quite a show.

“Mars and Saturn are going to be really nicely planted up in the sky. And we’re going to have Neptune rising in the east just a little bit after sunset,” Tobias said. “But we’re going to do something that hasn’t really been done here in San Antonio that we know of for a public event. We’re going to try to show the dwarf planet, Pluto, as well.”

And yes, we know what you’re thinking…

“If you think about Pluto, Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet. Pluto still has that nasty 'P' word, planet, in it. It’s just a different size of planet,” he said.

SALSA holds regular events on Wednesday evenings at McAllister Park, which Tobias said are well attended.

“You’d be surprised," he said. "When we set up telescopes, people just start walking up at the park where we set up."

But those are on hold until cooler weather and earlier sunsets arrive.

“Yeah, well it’s got to be dark, you know,” he said.

Saturday’s star party starts at 8 p.m., but Tobias, who is bringing what he said is the largest telescope in South Texas, said absolute darkness is closer to 10 p.m.

Brooks City-Base hopes to make the star party an annual event.