MDC offering a free Dark Skies star gazing event May 11 in Carroll County

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Hale, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free Dark Skies stargazing event from 5 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at the Little Compton Lake Conservation Area south of Hale in northeastern Carroll County. A camping option is also available for the event, and MDC staff will offer fishing and archery instruction with gear provided prior to a dinner break and nightfall. The event is being held in partnership with the Astronomical Society of Kansas City.

MDC staff from the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs will lead the event. Members of the astronomical society will provide a slide show and have telescopes set up for viewing planets and stars. The event is being held at an area with a Class 3 dark sky, which is a rural area with much less light pollution at night than in an urban area. Stars are far more visible in the night sky in areas where light from human activities is reduced.

Participants may drive home after the event or camp. The camping is free, but amenities are minimal. Camping is allowed in a mowed grassy area near a gravel parking lot and privy. Missouri fishing regulations apply.

This event is open to all ages. Registration is required. To register, visit For information about the Little Compton Lake Conservation Area northeast of Carrollton, visit