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Things are really looking up with this program.

The Alley Pond Environmental Center will host Stargazing Wonders: Astronomy Night in Douglaston on Saturday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m.

Suggested for adults and children over age 8, the event will begin with a Q&A session/crash course on stars with the organizer, former Queens College Adjunct Astronomy Professor Mark Freilich.

Then, the group will head outside to view the night sky with a provided, 10-inch-long telescope or binoculars that individuals bring. The Summer Solstice is near, and participants will probably locate the Big Dipper first. Then, the earthlings will be able to track Arcturus, a giant bright red star in the constellation Bootes.

Spica, a brilliant blue star in the constellation Virgo, should also be prominent. (It’s believed that Greek geographer Hipparchus of Nicaea, who is credited with founding trigonometry, was studying Spica when he discovered the precession of the equinoxes in the second century B.C.)

Jupiter should be visible on the eastern horizon at this time, and the moon should be obvious, too.

Freilich, who will also provide handout information such as maps, has been leading these expeditions via Alley Pond for more than 20 years. (It’s actually one of the longest-running astronomy programs in New York City.) He has a degree in astronomy and geology from York College and a master of science degree in education with a specialty in astronomy and geology from Queens College.

For a while in the 1970s, he studied with famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan at Cornell University in upstate Ithaca.

Tickets are $16. Alley Pond’s entrance is at 228-06 Northern Blvd.

Image: Astronomy Trek

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