Newton, NC – The Catawba County Library is participating in a statewide celebration focused on outer space and celestial bodies. On Friday, April 20, from 6pm-8pm, the Conover Branch (403 Conover Station SE, 828.466.5108) will be welcoming folks for an evening of science, exploration, and fun, not to mention a strong dose of awe and wonder!

At the after-hours event, participants will learn to identify constellations and planets while completing educational activities that cater to young and old alike. The theme of this year’s party is Is Anyone Out There? so discussions will center around the prospect of life elsewhere in the universe, including talk about how humans might encounter it and what it might look like. The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club will be joining in and bringing their telescopes so that everyone can have a turn at navigating the night sky and making out the various star groupings and other prominent objects.

Activities will include:
•Making and learning to use a Kepler star wheel and red balloon covered flashlight
•Exploring a miniature ice planet
•Discovering the types of life that may exist on other planets, and designing alien life forms
• Learning the moon phases with Oreo cookies
•Participating in a demonstration on planet movements and learning how unknown planets are discovered
•Making a pocket solar system map out of cash register tape.

This month’s star party is North Carolina’s sixth, and the 2018 event takes place as part of the NC Science Festival and is supported by the NC Space Grant. Across the state, astronomy clubs, state and local parks, universities, planetariums, science centers, nature centers, and libraries are hosting public sky-watching sessions at 37 sites. Some 4000 visitors and 200 STEAM professionals and volunteers are expected to participate.

For a complete list of other star party locations in NC, visit

The NC Star Party coincides with Astronomy Day, which is observed on April 21 this year. Astronomy Day was first observed in California in 1973, and its goal is to foster an understanding of space, planets, stars, and other extraterrestrial objects and to bring astronomy professionals, fans, and the general public together.

For more information about library activities, please contact the Catawba County Library at 828.465.8664, at, or via Facebook. For the latest in library news, visit, or stop by your local branch.