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On Friday, April 20, stargazers in 37 North Carolina locations will be looking skyward to ask the same question - is anyone out there?

During the sixth annual Statewide Star Party, Swannanoa library will host a public skywatching session at Grovemont Park at 7 p.m. This is a chance to see the stars and planets up close, as well as take part in hands-on activities to explore the question of whether there is life elsewhere in the universe, how we might find it and what it may look like.

Puzzles and crafts for children will be available. Bring camp chairs or other things to make your time at Grovemont Park more comfortable. The star party is provided by the Swannanoa Friends of the Library. For more, call 828-250-6486.

On Saturday, April 21, Don Collins, professor emeritus of Warren Wilson College, will invite Star Party participants to his observatory for a second round of looking at the stars. 

On Friday, April 20 from 8:30-11:30 p.m., UNC Asheville’s Department of Physics and the Astronomy Club of Asheville will team up at Lookout Observatory to help visitors explore the question of whether there is life elsewhere in the universe, and point out stars known to have exoplanets.

Lookout Observatory’s variety of telescopes also will provide views of double stars, nebulae, clusters and galaxies.

Advance online registration is required for UNCA's NC Star Party (registration opens April 9 on the Lookout Observatory website - lookoutobservatory.unca.edu. In case of cloudy skies, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, April 21 at the same time.

To receive email notification when stargazing registration opens, sign up at the observatory's website, where information about possible postponement of NC Science Festival events also will be posted.

The NC Science Festival’s annual Statewide Star Party is made possible through a NC Space Grant.

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