On Thursday, July 18 beginning at 7:30 p.m., the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the public libraries of Potter and Tioga counties are presenting a free program for youngsters and adults of all ages in the Night Sky Viewing Area at Cherry Springs State Park at 4639 Cherry Springs Road, Coudersport. The park is 12 miles from Galeton and 15 miles from Coudersport. This is the first time the libraries are partnering with DCNR.

“Potter & Tioga Libraries Under the Night Skies” is being offered as part of the libraries’ summer reading program. The 11 libraries in the two counties annually participate in the National Collaborative Summer Library Program. This year, the collaborative selected “A Universe of Stories” as the summer program theme to commemorate and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

The libraries’ free program on July 18 at Cherry Springs is being held the same week that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s manned Apollo 11 space vehicle landed on the moon in 1969.

At 7:30 p.m. on July 18, library staff will have free information available about the services the Potter and Tioga libraries offer to the public.

Three presentations about night sky sights will begin at 8 p.m. Coudersport photographer Curt Weinhold, a Pennsylvania Wilds Juried Artisan who teaches the Nightscapes Photography Workshop at the park, will talk about places at Cherry Springs to view the night sky and take photographs as well as along the Highway to the Stars. Jessica Spencer, a teacher with the Northern Tioga School District for the past 13 years, will tell a tale or two about animal constellations that can be viewed at night.

Teacher and storyteller Bonnie Kyofski will then share a tale of the universal child’s fascination with starry skies from “The Little Prince.” Kyofski will also talk about her own connection with pilots and a NASA scientist whom she has known since his babyhood and who has been involved for 40 years in the exploration of space.

Serving as MC for the program will be Tim Morey, natural resource specialist.

The night will end with a laser-guided star tour highlighting several legends in the night sky and an up close look through park telescopes at Jupiter and its moons and other celestial objects.

In the event of rain or severe weather, the program will be cancelled. If cloudy, everything but the laser tour and stargazing will be held.

Those planning to attend should register by visiting http://events.dcnr.pa.gov/cherry_springs_state_park, call 814-435-1037 or email cherryspringsee@pa.gov.

For more information about this free program at Cherry Springs, contact your local library.