OGDEN — This semester, Weber State’s Ott Planetarium wants to help community members benefit from the area’s dark night skies — something not every community has.

To that end, the planetarium is holding a series of outdoor “star parties” this semester, where participants of all ages can learn about the night sky. Nine telescopes will be on hand, and stepladders will be available so small children can reach them.

“Astronomy is one of the few sciences where the laboratory is in everyone’s backyard, and we want to help people take advantage of our close proximity to areas with very dark skies,” said John Armstrong, director of the Ott Planetarium, in a university press release. “The large observation deck at the science center allows community members to use some fantastic telescopes in a comfortable environment.”

The next upcoming star party is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at Weber State’s Public Observatory on the fourth flour of the Tracy Hall Science Center, near the south end.

But if you can’t make it Monday, four additional events will be held in the same location this semester. Dates and times are included below.

More information is available at www.weber.edu/ottplanetarium.

Friday, Feb. 28, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Monday, March 16, 8-10 p.m.

Friday, April 3, 8:30-10:30 p.m.

Monday, April 13, 8:30-10:30 p.m

Contact reporter Megan Olsen at molsen@standard.net or 801-625-4227. Follow her on Twitter at @MeganAOlsen.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!