Need a good dose of starry nights? Plan to be in Great Basin National Park at month's end to take in the park's second annual astronomy festival.
The festival is scheduled for July 28 through July 30. Show up and you can join park rangers, and astronomers from the Las Vegas and Salt Lake City astronomical societies to experience out of this world family fun and excitement and to learn about day and nighttime astronomy.
Great Basin National Park is noted for the some of the darkest night skies and best air quality in the nation. Visitors can expect to experience clear daytime skies, incredibly dark night skies, and star gazing beyond compare. Lehman Caves Visitor Center will be the hub of activity.
Astronomers will be on hand to guide you through day and night skies with their many telescopes of different makes, shapes, and sizes. There will be many opportunities to look at the sun, stars, planets and other deep sky objects including nebulae and galaxies.
Dr. Tyler Nordgren, the festival’s keynote speaker, is the author of the book Stars Above, Earth Below: A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks. Since 2005 he has been a member of the National Park Service Night Sky Team dedicated to helping monitor and protect the dark night sky above America's national parks.
In 2007 Dr. Nordgren spent a full year traveling through the national parks working with rangers, scientists, and park visitors to better understand the world of astronomy visible every day and night in the nation's parks. Since becoming an astronomer, Dr. Nordgren's science and outreach activities have taken him from the Hopi Reservation to the downtown streets of Rome while his artwork has been on display in galleries in Maine and on the surface of Mars.
Dr. Nordgren will have his keynote presentation on Friday July 29 at 8 p.m. (PDT) and will do a reading and book signing Saturday morning at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
Dr. Nordgren is joining us for the festival in partnership with the Nevada Arts Council. Generous support for the Astronomy Festival is provided by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA).
To find out more about the upcoming festival schedule, take a look at the Great Basin National Park website at http://www.nps.gov/grba.