Yuri’s Night at Camp Virgil Tate April 9, 2014 by Rudy Panucci Share This Article Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedinShare on Pinterest To celebrate mankind’s past, present & future in space, a worldwide celebration takes place every year on April 12th, the date of the first manned space flight by Russia’s Yuri Gagarin and the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle. The Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society will be joining the Kanawha County Public Library system to celebrate with a Yuri’s Night Star Party at Camp Virgil Tate, happening this Saturday starting at 6 PM. As darkness falls, the KVAS group will lead the party to the Breezy Point Observatory to gaze at the stars through their new large telescope and also KVAS members’ personal telescopes. Registration is limited, so it’s recommended that you register with the Cross Lanes Library either online or by calling the library – 304-776-5999. Registration ends Friday night at Midnight. So you’re still wondering, what exactly is Yuri’s Night? Yuri’s Night is a global celebration of humanity’s past, present, and future in space. Yuri’s Night parties and events are held around the world every April in commemoration of April 12, 1961, the day of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight, and April 12, 1981, the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle. Yuri’s Night events combine space-themed partying with education and outreach. These events can range from an all-night mix of techno and technology at a NASA Center, to a movie showing and stargazing at your local college, to a gathering of friends at a bar or barbecue. In this case, it will be a night of star gazing away from the light pollution of the city, where the beauty of the celestial sky is on display for all to see. The party will start at dusk with crafts, games and activities for children of all ages. Then the party moves to the Breezy Point Observatory. The Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society is a non-profit educational organization. We are dedicated to the promotion of amateur astronomy in and around the West Virginia area and work closely with local schools and the Avampato Discovery Museum at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences. The Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society operates and maintains Breezy Point Observatory, located at Camp Virgil Tate, near Cross Lanes, West Virginia. This rolling-roof design observatory houses the club’s 16″ F-4.5 Newtonion Reflector Telescope. Breezy Point Observatory is host to many of the club’s monthly meetings as well as a number of star parties each year, such as Yuri Night this weekend. Even if you decide to skip the festivities at the Cross Lanes Branch of the Kanawha County Public Library, you are welcome to join the party in time for stargazing at the Observatory. You can find driving directions to the Breezy Point Observatory HERE. Information how to register at the library can be found HERE. It should be a grand night for looking to the sky.