The Man and the Moon

Stargazing with guest astronomer Dave Schlichting

In most parts of the world, the setting sun is a cue to call it a day, pack up your gear, and head indoors. Not here – and not for guest astronomer Dave Schlichting. Our clear Colorado skies present a natural and magical theater for stargazing, moongazing, sky watching, and planet exploration. When the sun sets over the Ranch is when the Star Party gets started!

“Showtime always begins at sunset, but the program is never the same,” says Schlichting, former program director and mentor for NASA who regularly brings the Colorado sky to life on the patio of Heck’s Tavern. “Depending upon the season, we may turn our telescopes and binoculars to the shield of Orion, the rings of Saturn, or even the Galilean moons of Jupiter.”

“With 2019 being the 50th anniversary of the first successful lunar landing, the upcoming spring and summer evenings will also be an optimal and poignant time to focus on the moon, its formations, and where those giant steps were first taken,” adds Schlichting. “Although we regularly look at the moon from afar, seeing the surface up close is a breathtaking experience for everyone.”

Providing a historical and geological perspective to the sights in the sky, Schlichting ’s Star Parties are fun, fascinating and free for the whole family. “We encourage guests to grab a hot chocolate or hot toddy from Heck’s and then gather ’round the fire for an enlightening evening under the dark sky.”   

For a schedule of upcoming Star Parties at Heck’s, click here.


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