Under the Night Sky: Half the Park is After Dark in Muncy

Under the Night Sky: Half the Park is After Dark in Muncy

School’s out for summer, so bring the kids to the park after dark. They’ll look millions of years into the past as they use telescopes and binoculars to gaze at stars, planets, the Milky Way and more at Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail when Muncy Historical Society hosts its “Under the Night Sky” on Tuesday, June 14.

Chris Dalla Piazza, an amateur astronomer and astrophotographer since 1992, will lead the night-sky viewing program at the society’s Heritage Park and Nature Trail location, 601 Pepper Street, Muncy.

As darkness falls, park guests will be invited to join Della Piazza at the Educational Pavilion where he will discuss his interest in astronomy and outline what will be visible through the park-provided telescope experience.

According to Dall Piazza, “There will be a shadow transit on Jupiter by Ganymede and an eclipse of Callisto on Friday, June 17, which will make for a rich observing experience to dovetail into a talk about Jupiter’s moons.”

At a minimum, the telescopes will search out double stars or perhaps a star cluster and, if Saturn and the Moon clear the tree line, they, too, might be viewable.

The park is the ideal location to explore the night sky outdoors. As a river community, Muncy’s historic and cultural heritage has always been tied to the Susquehanna River, and the park’s location is ideal to celebrate its legacy. Guests are encouraged to arrive at the park at 7 p.m. to give their eyes an opportunity to adapt to the lack of light. Flashlights covered in red cellophane will be made available and red candle luminaries will line the pathways to the telescope viewing areas. To encourage further learning, a “Glow in the Dark Star Finder” will be given to the first 25 young people so they can continue night sky exploration on his or her own.

The society’s meetings and events are always open to the public, with free admission unless stated. This is an all-outside event so dress appropriately. The decision to cancel the evening’s activities because of inclement weather conditions will be made by 5 p.m. The rain date is June 23. Call (570) 564-5917 for an update when weather is a consideration.

Part of the Passport Program

The Night Sky event is a great way to kickstart your exploration of Lycoming County with the 2016 Passport Program. Before the program ends on Nov. 16, participants will have the opportunity to experience what it was like to live, work, and celebrate in the past, enjoy what is now offered and perhaps win a prize.

The initiative is sponsored by members of the Historical Organizations of Lycoming County (HOLC), with support provided by the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau.

HOLC, a group of multi-disciplinary partners, is dedicated to preserving and interpreting local history. Its mission is to enhance public awareness, encourage community engagement, support preservation action and promote heritage education.

During each event attended, participants will have the opportunity to submit an entry for prizes to be awarded on Nov. 20. Although there is not a required number of events to attend to qualify for the drawing, only one entry per person per event can be completed; however, participants may submit one entry at each event. The more events a person attends, the greater the chance of winning a prize. To be eligible to win a prize, the person whose name appears on the entry form must be 18 or older.  

The door prizes for the 2016 Passport Program include:

  • An overnight stay at Hampton Inn Williamsport-Downtown, $75 gift card from historic Peter Herdic House Restaurant, and two tickets to the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra Concert, March 18, 2017;
  • Four tickets to the 2017 Championship Game, 2017 Little League Baseball World Series;
  • Four complimentary rounds at White Deer Golf Course, Vintage or Challenge course;
  • $25 gift card, Sam’s Club or Walmart

If you have any questions contact the Muncy Historical Society, 570-546-5917, or any one of the participating HOLC members.

The society’s 2016 Calendar of Events may be viewed at