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Long-time partners the Sunriver Nature Center and Oregon Observatory co-hosted the event Saturday

PHOTO BY VALERIE OLSON/SPECIAL TO THE CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Building rockets was a family affair, followed by using compressed air to shoot them off in a contest to see how far they traveled.

The 20th Annual Star Party at Prineville Reservoir State Park Saturday was well-attended and full of events for the entire family. Activities included kayak tours of the reservoir, scavenger hunts, a hotdog lunch, and many kid-specific activities that culminated in a kids-only Mars themed party.

At dark, the Oregon Observatory provided telescopes that were used to share the galaxy with the public.

The unofficial mascot of the star party is the local "Big Doug," a 16-inch diameter Meade telescope (Meade DS 16). This massive telescope was donated to the park by Ken and Nancy Douglas in 2002 and features prominently in summer programs held at the park's observatory, which is located in the day-use area.

PHOTO BY VALERIE OLSON/SPECIAL TO THE CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Bob Grossfeld, director of the Oregon Observatory, gives a lesson in sun spots to Anayla Lester, a young participant in the many activities set up for children of all ages.

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