Where's the best place to star gaze in the Rogue Valley?

Where's the best place to star gaze in the Rogue Valley?

— Robert B., Ashland

Wow, Robert, very to the point. We here at the Since You Asked Planetarium and Disco Emporium are happy to answer your question.

As we enter the summer months, star gazing is a fun and interesting hobby families can undertake. That is, it's fun and interesting if you know at what stars you're gazing.

To help you, there's an amateur astronomy group here in the Rogue Valley, called Southern Oregon Skywatchers.

The group holds star parties on the Saturdays nearest to the new moon, weather permitting. Their summer site — private property that the club has special permission to use — is about 15 miles east of Ashland, off of Shale City Road, at nearly a mile in elevation.

Star parties start at sunset and go until the last person leaves. For up-to-date information on when star parties are happening, see the group's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SouthernOregonSkywatchers.

The group's website — www.orskywatchers.org — also hosts many helpful links to help out amateur astronomers, as well as information about club meetings, directions to star parties and how to become a club member.

All of the club's events and meetings are free and open to the public.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com.