The Great Smoky Mountains National Park along with the Smoky Mountains Astronomical Society will offer a free 2 hour stargazing program beginning at 7:30 pm Saturday October 4th - far away from the light pollution of any of the towns and cities of the Smokies.
This is the third years that this exciting program is being held in the GSMNP in Cades Cove where visitors will find several telescopes set up in order to observe the stars, galaxies and constellations in the autumn sky on what will be a moonless night.
Along with the telescopes provided by the Smoky Mountains Astronomical Society, members of the group will be providing their in-depth astronomy knowledge to visitors as well.
The Great Smoky Mountains national park has had 75 years to return back to a more natural state since the park was created. Not only does the inside of the park offer the chance to leave the visual pollution of billboards and neon signs of outside the park behind, much of the park is devoid of noise pollution and at night huge areas of the park are absent of light pollution created by the street lights, lighted structures and lights from cars in the outside world.
Without the light pollution, you have far better night vision so you are able to see far fainter objects in the night sky - even without the aid of a telescope or binoculars. Cades Cove is an ideal location to get away from the light pollution and a perfect place to observe the night skies.
If you are planning on coming to this GSMNP event, be sure to dress warmly, bring either a blanket or lawn chair to sit on and a flashlight - preferably with a red cover. If you have binoculars, bring them along as well as you can use them for stargazing.
Park your car near the exhibit shelter at the entrance to the 11 mile Cades Cove Loop Road where you will be escorted to a nearby filed where the group will be.
So far the weather looks good for Saturday, unfortunately if there is bad weather the program will be canceled.