Keasa’s star watch setting up in Kekaha parking lot on Saturday

The Kaua’i Educational Association for Science and Astronomy has moved the location of its monthly “star watch,” but members are setting up for this Saturday at a different Westside location – the Pioneer Hi-Bred International seed facility in Kekaha.

The free event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the hybrid seed facility about one mile past Kekaha Neighborhood Center.

The Amateur Astronomers of Kaua’i will provide telescopes for the public, ranging from 3-inch to 20-inch sizes.

Keasa was founded in 1989 for amateur astronomers, school-age and adult learners, and the general public interested in astronomy, science and astrophotography. Meetings and star watches are held Saturday evenings closest to the New Moon each month in Kekaha. Secondary star watches are held at the Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort in Poipu the following weekend and at the Princeville Resort the weekend after that.

Last year, Keasa and the rest of the non-PMRF island population was banned from the Pacific Missile Range Facility after business hours. The group’s 14-inch telescope remains housed in its observatory, which was built in 1992.

According to Keasa president John Ferguson, star watches may not return to the base; PMRF commanding officer Capt. Don Wilson said they have been trying to work something out for Keasa members and starwatchers. For nearly a year Keasa has been at the Pioneer seed facility.

Driving directions: Go about one mile west of the intersection of Kaumuali’i Highway and Koke’e Road near the Kekaha Neighborhood Center. The Pioneer hybrid seed facility is on the right side of the roadway. The telescopes will be set up in the back parking lot; please use vehicle parking lights and turn them off if approaching after dark.

Also, bring mosquito repellent and cover flashlights with dark red paper and a rubber band, or use a red lightbulb. Free star maps will be given to all visitors. Please call 639-0460 for directions or more information, email, access, or call public relations chairman Pastor James Merritt at 338-1227.


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