The public is invited to join amateur astronomer, Russ Leonard, at the Southington Public Library on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. to gaze at the moon, stars and planets through a large telescope. These large instruments offer the opportunity to see amazingly clear views of the moon and planets.Russ, a Plantsville resident, is a retired manufacturing engineer and an active member of the Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club. His interest in space and astronomy started in the early 1960s with the Project Mercury Space Program. He got his first telescope over 50 years ago and has been looking to the night skies ever since.He is involved in many public outreach programs at the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, which recently hosted an Eclipse Party that had over 1,000 people in attendance. He is also a volunteer astronomer at Acadia National Park in Maine. Russ recently completed the design and build of a very large F/15 Refracting telescope that has received accolades from fellow amateur astronomers as far away as France and Australia.He will be bringing two large, computer-controlled Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes to the Stargazing Party at the Southington Library along with some smaller manually controlled scopes. Participants are advised to dress warmly and bring flashlights. All ages are welcome, but children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.In case of rain, this program will be postponed to another date.Registration is requested. To register online go to southingtonlibrary.org, or call 860-628-0947 ext-5.