Leave the digital screens behind and enjoy a soul-feeding starlit night among the ruins at the Abo Unit of Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, just nine miles west of Mountainair.
With the crisp fall evenings and clear skies, autumn evenings are the perfect time for astronomy. Grab your blankets and plan an outing Saturday, Sept. 28, to enjoy the magic of Astronomy at Abo.
“Jupiter and Saturn have been beautiful this summer and will still be visible for this program and we also may be able to catch a glimpse of Venus shortly after sunset,” said Norma Pineda, chief ranger at Salinas National Monument. “In addition to the planets, we’ll look at various open clusters, globular clusters, nebulae and galaxies.”
This free, family-friendly event offers much more than just an evening at the monument at an International Dark Sky Park. The evening starts around 6 p.m. with a Rock Art Tour leaving from the Abo Visitors Center to nearby petroglyphs. This tour will involve one hour of hiking over rough, uneven terrain. Participants must wear sturdy shoes, bring their own water, and a good camera, if desired.
After the tour, participants will have the option of participating in a ranger-led tour of the Abo mission ruins. After the tour, there will be a talk about the night sky comparing the similarities seen by the ancients to the sky we see. As the sky darkens, there will be telescopes available for public use to view of night sky.
No registration is required. Abo is located nine miles west of Mountainair on N.M. 60.