The comet of a lifetime. That’s what Star Guide Tony Berendsen says we’ll see this November if it survives its path by the sun. The so-called “dirty snowball,” as NASA scientists are referring to it, could be visible by the naked eye in broad daylight.
Tony hosts Tahoe Star Tours regularly at Northstar – star gazing tours at 6900′ above sea level, with wine, hot chocolate and expert star guides.
“Tony is amazing,” said first-time attendee Rhea Silver-Smith. “His poems, his enthusiasm, his knowledge. Learning about the witch’s face hiding in the Milky Way, the views, I’m so glad I made it out.”
The moon lit the path from the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe down to a fire-pit burning outside the Big Springs Day Lodge. Celestron Telescopes were set up across the patio, each strategically positioned. Before crowding around a screen, wine and hot chocolate were served. Nature Valley blankets were provided and we settled into the silence of the ski hill at night.
Tony presented a tour through astrology and bridged the gap between what we see and what we don’t understand. As he spoke, he involved the audience and even the group of kids were enthralled, possibly motivated by the Nature Valley s’mores and glow-sticks strategically placed on the table behind him.
After the brief history of the stars, the planets and the scientists who have changed the way we experience them, Tony set us loose to use the telescopes and pick the brains of the experts manning each of them. Kids peered through the lens on their tip-toes to see the moon’s surface first hand between glow-stick sword fights with their siblings, as their parents sat next to the fireplace testing their own astrological knowledge.
Despite my resistance to a late night, the tour ended all too quick. A shuttle pulled up to the base of the chairlifts where we sat to bring us back to the Village at Northstar, and swapped new found star knowledge with each other.
Tahoe Star Tour Vision Statement:
One day everyone will walk out underneath a starry sky they understand.