If you believe the Mayans were right and the world will end on Friday, you can go out in style by attending the "End of the World" astronomy program at Bryce Canyon National Park. And if you disagree with the Mayans, you still can enjoy the park's Winter Solstice program.
The special Winter Solstice Astronomy Event prepared by Bryce Canyons's "dark rangers" will offer educational and entertaining “End of the World”-themed presentations punctuated by stargazing with telescopes.
The evening starts with "Maya Mania vs. More Likely Ends of the World," a presentation about ancient Maya Astronomers, the Mayan Calendar, and related myths about the end of the world, as compared to more astronomical events like asteroid impact, galactic collisions, our Sun exploding and, of course, even Space Alien Invasion!
Then it's out to the telescopes to see planets Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus, Great Orion Nebula, Pinwheel and Andromeda Galaxies, Crab Supernova Remnant, among other deep-space objects. When you get cold—and you will as Bryce Canyon is 8000 feet above sea level—then it's back inside for "A Climate Intervention" which is a multimedia assisted, facilitated open audience discussion about the potential calamities we face with Global Climate Change and how if we work together, many can be averted, and even the worst can be significantly mitigated.
By this time the sky will have rotated enough to reveal new deep-space objects, so the program will head back outside to the cold night air for more telescope astronomy and constellation laser tours to learn cultural stories from around the world recorded in the constellations. Afterward, you’re welcome to warm up once again with an indoor showing of NOVA's "Cracking the Maya Code" about how the lost language of the Maya was revitalized by clever archaeologists studying glyphs carved on temples and statues.
Finally, the program heads back outside one last time to await the world NOT ending at midnight under the Bryce Canyon sky – one of the darkest, most starry places in North America accessible by paved road. Under the Bryce Canyon night sky you can even see the Winter Milky Way, the smaller fainter spiral arm of our Milky Way Galaxy.
If for some impossible reason the world does decide to end... well, at least you will be at Bryce Canyon National Park. What better place to spend your final hours with friends and family?
The evening's programs start at 7 p.m.
For more information, check out this page.