Sometimes we humans become so fixated on what's happening in our own area code that we forget about all the cool destinations that make up the cosmos above us. And while astronomy can be a solitary endeavor, it can be all the more rewarding when pursued with a group of stargazers who hold the passion for discovery in the same high regard. Phoenix astronomy buffs congregate and look skyward in groups such as the Saguaro Astronomy Club. Endless planets, stars and galaxies provide an inspiring array of celestial wonders with which to become acquainted, holding clues to our own existence and hinting that life as we know it is not an exclusive property.
Expand your horizons one planet at a time when the City of Phoenix, along with the Saguaro Astronomy Club, presents "A Night With the Stars" from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, August 15, at Arizona Horse Lover's Park, 19224 North Tatum. This unique outdoor event marks a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gaze at the stars and get especially up close and personal with the planet Mars, which will be the closest it's been to the Earth in 60,000 years.
Admission is free. For details contact Scott or Brenda at 602-534-4656. - Craig Wallach
Good Skill, Hunting
Elk experts take aim
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It's the time of year when hunters get restless. If you hear the bugle call of the wild, track down either of this week's elk-hunting seminars sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: an East Valley seminar on Tuesday, August 19, at the Hilton Phoenix-East Mesa, 1011 West Holmes in Mesa, or a Phoenix seminar on Wednesday, August 20, at the Mountain Preserve Reception Center, 1451 East Dunlap. Experts cover elk calling, glassing techniques and field care, and offer tips for archery, muzzle-loader and rifle hunts. Doors open at 5:30 each night, and the seminars start at 6:30. Adults pay $10; kids younger than 16 get in free. For more information, see www.azod.com or call 480-988-4262 in the East Valley, 623-566-1728 out West.- Kim Toms