Wikimedia Commons photo
The star cluster NGC 3572 and its surroundings.
HARTFORD — Check out the best nighttime light show in town from 7 to 9 p.m., Friday, March 27, with local astronomer Steve Sands at the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower, 435 Confluence Way Drive.
As an added bonus, arrive promptly at 7 p.m. and enjoy the beauty of a Midwestern sunset over the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers from the top level of the tower, 150 feet above the ground. Participants can discover the location of stars and planets in the galaxy as the celestial bodies make their appearance throughout the evening. Telescopes will be available to help with viewing. Admission is $5 per person and includes unlimited trips up the tower. Cameras are welcome.
Sands, a member of the St. Louis Astronomical Society, will showcase the constant activity in the night sky and answer questions throughout the event.
“Viewing the night sky from the tower’s top level is a great experience,” said Deanna Barnes, project manager for the village of Hartford. “We are so fortunate to be able to see the beauty of the solar system here without the glare of city lights. And Steve does a great job explaining the mysteries of the cosmos.”
Through the end of March, the tower is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Starting April 1, the tower will be open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Guided tours are available throughout the day. Admission to the tower is $4 for adults; $3 for adults over 62, active military and veterans; $2 for children age 12 and younger; and children age 2 and under are free. Group rates are available for 12 or more people and reservations can be made by calling the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau at (618) 465-6676.
For information, call (618) 251-9101 or visit the events page at www.confluencetower.com.