Campinho
Campinho

Free stargazing (and much more) in Reguengos de Monsaraz

Dark Sky Party Alqueva, a stargazing festival, is taking place this weekend at the Campinho picnic park in the Alentejo borough of Reguengos de Monsaraz.

The event will feature everything from stargazing activities and wine tastings to workshops, lectures, and a series of activities at Alqueva Lake.

The inaugural event is scheduled for Friday (July 29) at 9pm, followed 30 minutes later by a lecture focusing on light pollution led by Raul Cerveira Lima, a deputy professor of Physics at the School of Health of Porto Polytechnic Institute.

At 10pm, astrophotographer Miguel Claro from Dark Sky Alqueva will lead a lecture entitled ‘Passeio Cósmico’ (Cosmic Walk), while guide and astronomy specialist José Augusto Matos will lead his own talk at 10.30pm, followed by a naked eye skygazing event at 11pm.

Cromeleque Xarez Milky Way
Cromeleque Xarez Milky Way

On Sunday, the festivities begin at 5pm at Lake Alqueva with canoeing, bananaboating and stand-up paddling activities organised by Alentejo Break. At 6pm, a sungazing event will be held by the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Science and Dark Sky Alqueva, followed at 6.30pm by a wine tasting with winemaker Casa de Sabicos and two workshops presented by the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences.

At 7.30pm, a yoga class entitled ‘Viajando do Macro ao Microcosmos’ (Travelling from the Macro to Microcosmos) will be held, organised by Áshrama Évora Dhyána – Centro de Yoga, while at 9.30pm a lecture exploring the themes of “black holes and gravitational waves” will be presented by Francisco Lobo, a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences.

Cumeada Sede DSA
Cumeada Sede DSA

Astronomer Miguel Gonçalves will present his lecture ‘Ir ao Espaço dá saúde e faz crescer’ (Going to space is healthy and makes you grow) at 10pm, warming up the stage for Humberto Campins, a member of NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex Mission and a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Florida, whose lecture will explain ‘How likely is an asteroid to ruin your day’.

Meanwhile, former NASA astrounaut and American Navy captain, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, will lead a lecture called ‘My Story’ at 10.40pm.

Winemaker Louro Wines will hold a blind wine tasting at 11pm, at the same time as a live musical performance by Moksha Sound Journeys, while a stargazing event is planned to close the event at 11.30pm.

All events are free, although those interested must sign up online at www.darkskypartyalqueva.com