Mike Lynch with telescopes.jpg

Mike Lynch is a meteorologist at WCCO Radio and has been hosting Starwatch parties and teaching astronomy classes for more than 40 years. (Submitted photo)

Washington County Parks will have a Mars Party, hosted by Mike Lynch, 9 to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at Lake Elmo Park Reserve.

The gathering will be near the Swim Pond at the park.

This summer, Mars is as close to Earth has it has been in 15 years, and nearly as close as it’s been in 60,000 years. At the Mars Party, giant telescopes will be aimed at the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. View constellations like The Big Bear, Cygnus the Swan, and Pegasus the Winged Horse, and learn the stories behind them.

Visitors will use large reflecting telescopes, including two 20-inch reflectors that are among the biggest mobile telescopes in Minnesota. Visitors will use a new astronomical camera-telescope system for views of the more distant parts of the universe. Participants will receive user-friendly star maps and constellation charts for personal use.

Mike Lynch is a meteorologist at WCCO Radio and has been hosting Starwatch parties and teaching astronomy classes for more than 40 years. Even if it’s cloudy, visitors will learn a lot, and get a Mike Lynch “Cloud Check” for a future Minnesota Starwatch Party.

No registration is required - just show up. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, blankets, snacks, bug spray, etc., for a more enjoyable experience.

All vehicles must have a valid Washington County Parks vehicle permit, $7 daily, $30 annually.

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