Stargazing returns to Wallisch Homestead

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  • Photo provided Gaze at the stars from the Wallisch Homestead on Saturday, May 13.

The Friends of Wallisch Homestead are partnering with the North Jersey Astronomical Group (NJAG) again this year for an evening of stargazing on Saturday, May 13, at 8 p.m. (rain date is May 20 at 8 p.m.).

This will be the third season the group returns to the Homestead. Viewing conditions at this site are extremely good, the group said, as there is little light pollution and the view across the valley to Bearfort Mountain is unobstructed by trees. The evening will finish around 10:30 p.m. at moonrise.

Members will be setting up telescopes for viewing by the general public.

"The first object to come into view will be Jupiter during twilight deepens. After the sky gets completely dark, the Beehive Cluster M44 in Cancer, Galaxies M81 and M82 in Ursa Major (Big Dipper) will be visible," said Mark Zdziarski, coordinator of the events for NJAG. "Other deep sky objects will include the great globular cluster M13 in Hercules, and Clusters M3 and M92. If we are really lucky, we may also be able to catch a glimpse of Comet C/2015V2 (Johnson) if it brightens according to predictions."

The evening will start with some soft music from the recently donated sound system as NJAG sets up their equipment in the field out back. They will answer questions and point out many of the wonders of the universe.

"You will be amazed at what you will see with a look through their powerful equipment," said John Hefferon, coordinator for the Friends of Wallisch Homestead group.

All are welcome and educators are encouraged to attend. The event is weather permitting. Unfortunately, cloud cover will cancel the stargazing event. Please keep an eye on the weather and the website,, for updates.

The North Jersey Astronomical Group was established in 1981. NJAG has sponsored many activities for the public in Northern New Jersey, including weekly telescope nights and a monthly lecture series in the spring and fall plus special events. Tens of thousands of people have discovered the wonders of the universe through their telescopes. Visit their website at

The Friends of Wallisch Homestead is dedicated to the restoration and adaptive reuse of the Wallisch Homestead as an educational and passive recreational venue for the community. Visit for more information.

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