(The following is an open letter to Greater New Milford-area residents from the volunteers at the McCarthy Observatory on the campus of New Milford High School.)

Dear friends of the McCarthy Observatory:

To help build skills in astronomy among the friends of the McCarthy Observatory, we are offering a "Starlight Special" hands-on experience this fall.

Starting Oct. 19, we will be supporting six weekly sessions of celestial exploration for the first twelve people who respond to this invitation. Patrons would learn how to run the observatory telescopes, how to navigate the night sky, and how to identify a wide number of objects in the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy and beyond.

Current topics in astronomy and some fun lore from the history of this amazing human adventure will be woven into this program.

Patrons would also learn how to use some amazing new tools to help develop skills in pursuing astronomy topics on one's own. Sessions will start at 7:30 and end at 9 p.m. each week.

A modest donation of $20 per attendee is requested. To reserve a seat for this excellent adventure, respond to mccarthy.observatory@gmail.com.

The volunteer team

McCarthy Observatory

New Milford