The city of Tehachapi sponsored a stargazing night Saturday at Tehachapi Municipal Airport in honor of the anniversary of Project Apollo.
A dozen or more astronomers brought out their telescopes — many store-bought but some homemade or modified for extra viewing strength — and offered visitors the opportunity to gaze at the moon, stars and planets during the early nighttime hours.
Local NASA-JPL Solar System Ambassador and youth science promoter Dale Hawkins said, “Apollo 11 showed us what our capability could be and gave us a future worth pursuing in space. Stargazing is one of man's most ancient of celestial activities and ground based telescopes today are a great way to introduce the solar system to people of all ages."
Tehachapi Airport Manager Ashley Whitmore cordoned off a large nighttime safe viewing area at the airport's Aviator Park. Dozens of stargazing fans showed up and were treated to looking through telescopes of various viewing strengths.
At one point, a murmur went through the crowd and many a telescope was quickly repositioned to focus in on the International Space Station as it passed overhead on one of its many orbits around the earth.