Budding astronomers — or simply those wanting to know a little more about the night sky — have an opportunity to stargaze with telescopes and learn from Lancaster's astronomy enthusiasts.

Susquehanna Heritage is presenting Stars Over the Susquehanna to celebrate the National Park Service’s theme for April: Find Your Park After Dark — Starry Skies.

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, stargazers will gather in the Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, at 41 Walnut St. in Columbia, Lancaster County, for a presentation at 8 p.m.

Astronomy Enthusiasts of Lancaster County will talk about the science behind stars, galaxies and black holes followed by a telescope viewing outside, weather permitting.

Through the telescope, stargazers will be able to see celestial objects such as the Pleiades star cluster and the Orion nebula. They will learn about constellations from AELC members, who will show people how to navigate the sky with their smartphones.

Early explorers: For those interested in how early explorers such as Capt. John Smith navigated using the stars, the Zimmerman Center for Heritage, across the Susquehanna River in Lower Windsor Township, is holding a presentation from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

At the center, 1706 Long Level Road, explorers can learn how to create a navigation tool similar to what explorers used at the time.

Both events are free and open to all ages. For more information, visit

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