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Stars — and star watchers — will come out to party at Staunton River next week

The Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society (CHAOS) returns to host the fifth Staunton River Star Party Oct. 1-6, with a public viewing night scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5. Staunton River State Park is located in one of the darkest spots along the Eastern seaboard, offering an ideal location for viewing the night sky.

CHAOS is the local astronomy club in Chapel Hill, N.C. The club welcomes as members everyone interested in astronomy, from beginners to professional astronomers. CHAOS sponsors the Staunton River Star Party each spring and fall. Additional sponsors include Vixen Optics, Software Bisque, Explore Scientific, Orion Telescopes and Astronomy magazine. 

Star party activities include vendors and speakers. Attendees will be able to set up and camp in either tents or RVs next to their equipment in the field near the visitor center. Preregistration is required.

Participants may register for the full star party for $60 or just the weekend (Friday and Saturday) for $35. For more information, or to register, visit www.stauntonriver-starparty.org. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, including a “bottomless” coffee mug. 

Everyone is invited to come out for the free public viewing night on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 7:30 to 11 p.m., weather permitting. A parking fee of $3 per car will apply. 

Staunton River State Park is located in Halifax County at 1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg. For specific information about the park, call 434-572-4623, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

For general information or to make overnight reservations at Staunton River or any of Virginia’s 36 award-winning state parks go to www.virgi niastateparks.gov or call toll-free 800-933-7275.