Virginia Is for Stargazers

The Commonwealth of Virginia contains a number of sites scattered throughout the state that are perfect for stargazers. Some of them are easily accessible by car.

Starry sky (1)
Pocahontas State Park

Pocahontas State Park, located in Chesterfield County, is 20 miles from downtown Richmond. Even though the park is situated near a major city, it still contains some excellent spots from which to view the night sky. Visitors who want to stay overnight can pitch their tents on one of its approved campsites or rent a cabin (two-night minimum stay required).

Hungry Mother State Park

Per, if Virginians want a great view of the celestial universe, they should visit Hungry Mother State Park, located in southwestern Virginia. The area is far enough away from urbanity to escape significant light pollution; it also contains some high elevation areas, like Molly's Nob, which are perfect for stargazing. Just as important, Hungry Mother State Park is easily accessible from Interstate 81.

False Cape State Park

Stargazing enthusiasts who find themselves in southeastern Virginia might want to consider taking a trip to False Cape State Park, located in southern Virginia Beach. The park is ideal for stargazing because, per Virginia Outdoors, it represents "one of the last best escapes from light pollution" for residents living in that part of the state. One drawback, people who want to visit False Cape State Park will either have to hike it or bike to it; vehicular access is forbidden.

Wilderness Road State Park

Individuals who want to combine stargazing with an astronomy lecture might want to visit Wilderness Road State Park, located just off U.S. 58 in the southwest corner of Virginia. Its rural location makes it an excellent choice for viewing the heavens. On June 9, 2012, Wilderness Road State Park is hosting an event, The Moon and Beyond, which affords visitors a chance to listen to an astronomer's discussion of the moon while at the same time viewing that body (as well as nearby stars) using high powered telescopes.

Keeble Observatory

Stargazers who want to peek at the heavens through a large telescope may want to visit the Keeble Observatory, which is located on the campus of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. The facility is open to the public on Wednesday evenings, 7:30 to 10 p.m., September through May. Conditions may change, so it's weather-permitting.

1. Photographer: skyseeker
    Date: July 14, 2013
    Title/Description: Starry sky at Mount Rinjani, Lombok Island, Indonesia
    Location: Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
    (click on the title or caption to see the photo, credits, and permissions).
-- Anthony Hopper

#stars #stargazing #astronomy #recreation #Virginia #VA #outdoors

No comments:

Post a Comment