SOMERSET, NJ - Stop by the Municipal Parking Lot in front of the library on Thursday, July 19, 7:30 PM-9:30 PM. (475 Demott Lane, Franklin Township, NJ).

On View: The Moon, Jupiter, The Hercules Star Cluster, and more!

At trillions of miles away, the stars seem distant, cold, and impersonal, but, something special happens on each clear night. Their light pierces our atmosphere at 300,000 kilometers-per-second and silently crashes into our backyards, onto our roofs, and against the tree line of the magnificently preserved Open Spaces in our own Franklin Township. All one has to do is look up. And look up we do, as we have done throughout our history. What is that? What’s out there? Stars? Galaxies? Planets?

Sign Up for E-News

Yes! All of the above, and more. The newly formed Franklin Township Astronomy Club has its eyes looking up, too. The club seeks to promote both the joy of astronomy, and an appreciation of the sciences and hobbies related to it. For youth, in particular, the club will place an emphasis on the scientific thinking that goes hand-in-hand with the fun side of astronomy. We believe the best education (and dare we say enlightenment) happens when we are richly engaged in an interesting and relevant experience. Mars, for example, will be at its closest approach to Earth in two weeks. This happens about every 26 months in our orbits, which is why NASA organizes its Mars missions for launches to the Red Planet about every two years. Ever see the polar ice cap on another world? With Mars, you can experience that (and a lot more) by looking through some of the club's telescopes during this close approach. For the many students in our township that aren't engaged in sports, for example, astronomy can be a truly enriching activity-- one that often carries on throughout our lives. We encourage families to join (it's free).

We might look at some of the oldest things in the universe, but our club is new! We have some telescopes that will give users fantastic views, but we also encourage folks to bring their own. (We will show you how to use your scope if you’re new.) If you are an advanced amateur astronomer, astrophotographer, or observer, please consider joining us, as well, as we have big plans for the future. We invite all residents to come out on our observation nights which will be posted on Facebook.com/FranklinAstronomy. (Children must be accompanied by an adult.) This is a free club. This is an open club. This is an inclusive club that seeks to bring folks together through the unifying topic of Astronomy. So, find the next observation date on our Facebook events page, and put it on your calendar to come out for some fun!

For questions, visit Facebook.com/FranklinAstronomy or send an email to FranklinAstronomy@gmail.com.