ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Hobbs State Park in Rogers will host an event highlighting “a new breed of ground-based telescopes.”

According to a press release, the new class of “totally incredible” telescopes house some of the largest mirrors yet for collecting light from distant cosmic objects. Their homes can be found in remote parts of Chile, South Africa, Hawaii, Spain, Puerto Rico and other suitable locations.

Representatives from the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society will present “enlightening facts” about these important structures, and then orientate visitors to the late spring sky.

Some examples of the new telescopes are:

  • The twin 33-foot telescopes at the W. M. Keck Observatory represent the second-largest optical telescopes on Earth, located close to the summit of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. 
  • The huge reflector helps make Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico an incredibly sensitive radio telescope.  Such radio sources include distant quasars (a region at the center of a galaxy that produces an extremely large amount of radiation) and galaxies that emit radio waves that only reach Earth 100 million years later.
  • The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) is an intergovernmental radio telescope project being planned to be built in Australia and South Africa, with 50 times the sensitivity of any radio telescope ever built. Such power could examine signals from the younger universe of 12 billion years ago.

The night sky viewing at Hobbs will include looking at the moon through high-quality telescopes provided and staffed by members of the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society.  Other observations in the May 14 sky will include stars, constellations and star clusters.

Recommended minimum age for this program:  eight years old

Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection

When: Saturday, May 14

Display and Demos (including solar viewing): 7:00 p.m.

Lecture: 7:30 p.m.

Night sky viewing will take place at dark. The event is free and open to the public. It is recommended that visitors bring the following for the event:

  • Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
  • Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have one)
  • Folding chair – one per person
  • Star chart (if you have one)

For more information, call Hobbs State Park at 479-789-5000.