Branched Oak Observatory ( is preparing for the first event that will be open to the general public this year, the Hunting Orion Star Party. This event will take place on Saturday, March 11 from 8 to 11 p.m. You can join them at the observatory, 14300 NW 98th St. in Raymond. Branched Oak Observatory is located near, but not inside, the Branched Oak Lake and Recreation Area.

Branched Oak’s favorite Winter Constellation, Orion the Hunter will be high in the southwest. As you know, the Great Orion Nebula is one of the absolute showpieces of the night sky, and you simply can’t let Orion leave for the season without viewing this amazing deep space object. Other wonders you will have a chance to see will be the beautiful Seven Sisters Star Cluster, The Beehive Cluster, The Andromeda Galaxy, and many more.

This event, like all of Branched Oak’s General Public events, is FREE of charge and open to anyone interested in the night sky. Although not necessary, you are welcome (and encouraged) to bring binoculars or a telescope. There is no registration and no parking permit is required.

Established in 2015, the Branched Oak Observatory is an astronomy park located just southeast of the Branched Oak Recreation Area, 20 miles outside of Lincoln. They offer a wide variety of experiences, including classroom activities, solar viewing, nighttime viewing, space communications with satellites and the ISS, and newly installed Earth Moon Earth. For more information, you can visit