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Take a guided tour of the night sky

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 9:42 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 9:45 a.m. CDT
(MidWeek file photo)
Autumn Steward of Sycamore looks into a telescope at the star party hosted by the Northwest Suburban Astronomers Club on May 31 at Afton Forest Preserve in DeKalb.

DeKALB – The Northwest Suburban Astronomers (NSA), in cooperation with the DeKalb County Forest Preserve District, will host a public star party on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Afton Forest Preserve, south of DeKalb.

Look at stars, galaxies, nebulae and star clusters with the help of NSA member telescopes. Observing highlights will be the planets Mars and Saturn early in the evening, globular clusters M15 and M22, open cluster M11, the Swan Nebula (M17), the Lagoon Nebula (M8) and the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) late in the evening. A waning gibbous moon will rise at 10:08 p.m.

Dress for a chilly evening and bring a flashlight covered with red plastic or cellophane to preserve night vision. Also bring insect repellent if needed. Participants should plan to arrive around 7:30 p.m. or come early to picnic or hike the trails. You are welcome to bring your own telescope or binoculars. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be canceled. There is no cost to attend and no registration is required.

Afton Forest Preserve is located at 13600 Crego Road, DeKalb, about one mile east of Illinois Route 23 and one mile south of Perry Road. Park in the main parking lot and walk to the west.