Dinosaur National Monument rangers and visitors will be looking to the heavens this weekend, as a special star-gazing (and Sun viewing) program is held at the park's Quarry Visitor Center.
The monument, located in eastern Utah and western Colorado, has some of the darkest night skies in the United States. This darkness allows you to enjoy the stars just as people would have hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
Beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday, monument staff and area astronomers will offer a variety of programs to help you explore and understand the wonders of the universe.
Discover why the skies above the monument are just as important to enjoy and protect as the fossils, stunning scenery, and wild rivers. A variety of programs will be offered both during the day and night.
See the Sun
Did your mom ever tell you to never look at the Sun? With proper equipment, such as specially designed solar telescopes, you can stare as long as you like at sun spots and prominences on the closest star in our sky. Join monument staff on the back patio of the Quarry Visitor Center on Friday from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to gaze at the Sun.
Meet the Telescopes
Learn how different designs and sizes of telescopes can open your eyes to new worlds at the Quarry Visitor Center back patio on Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Be a Junior Astronomer
Explore the Solar System and the stars above us though hands-on activities and stories. This program is good for all ages and counts as a Dinosaur Junior Ranger Program. The program will be held at the Quarry Exhibit Hall shuttle area on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Also, at any time for any age, you can complete at least three pages (five if you are over 12) in the monument's free Junior Ranger Night Explorer activity book to earn a Night Explorer badge.
Campground Evening Program
Join a ranger at the Green River Campground campfire circle for a 30-45 minute program that will help you make the most of enjoying the sky once the sun sets. Offered on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.
Stories Behind the Stars & Telescope Viewing
A variety of telescopes will be available for you to seek out star clusters, nebula, and other galaxies. Rangers and volunteers will offer naked-eye stargazing programs at 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 10 p.m.. Children must be attended at all times and pets are not allowed in the stargazing area.
If you have your own telescope and wish to join the staff, please contact Sonya Berger 435-781-7701. Meet at the south end of the Split Mountain Campground (look for signs) on Friday and Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.