Stars and Water Quality at Hobbs State Park

Two programs are slated at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area Visitor Center this weekend.

On Saturday, if you have not ever been to one of the free, enjoyable astronomy programs at Hobbs State Park, this Saturday would be a great one to attend. Adults will enjoy the activities too, but most are designed for children.

From 6 p.m. until sunset, enjoy solar viewing. NEVER EVER look directly at the Sun with your naked eye or through a telescope, because this will cause immediate and permanent blindness. The Sugar Creek Astronomical Society will have telescopes at Hobbs State Park fitted with a special solar viewing filter. You will see black “sunspots.” Sunspots are darker, cooler areas on the surface of the sun in a region called the photosphere. They look dark because the area around them is hotter. Sunspots occur over regions of intense magnetic activity, and when that energy is released, solar flares and big storms called coronal mass ejections erupt from sunspots.

Other hands-on activities will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. include:

· Oreo cookie moon phases

· Distances in the solar system

· Orbits in our solar system

· How to choose and use a telescope (For the adults while the kids do the hands-on activities)

· Observation using binoculars, telescopes and the naked eye will begin around 8 p.m.

What to bring:

• Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)

• Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)

• Folding chair – one per person

• Star chart (if you have one)

Hobbs State Park Visitor Center located on Arkansas Highway 12 just east of the highway’s intersection with War Eagle Road.

On Sunday, LakeSmart offers a watershed education program that focuses on voluntary actions and best management practices that individuals can do where they live, work, and play to protect and improve the water quality of their local lakes, rivers, and streams.

This free program starts at 2 p.m. Sunday.

LakeSmart generally focuses on homeowners and residents. The program addresses issues like landscape management, managing wells and water, septic system management, household hazardous wastes, and runoff to protect the health and safety of individuals and the watershed in which they live. However; many ideas can be applied to larger audiences such as schools, churches, businesses, and civic organizations. Each participant will receive a DVD, materials on watershed protection, and a binder that addresses each of the topics presented in the LakeSmart Program.

Angela Danovi, Program Director for the organization, completed her Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Soil Science and a Master of Science in Geography with a focus in water quality, at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series. For more information call the park office at: 479-789-5000.

Categories: Legacy Archive