See the Stars at White Sands NM

White Sands National Monument at SunsetWhite Sands National Monument may be the only National Park unit with a warning like this on its homepage: "Due to missile testing on the adjacent White Sands Missile Range, it is occasionally necessary, for visitor safety, to close the Dunes Drive for periods of up to three hours." Whoa! Well, assuming they are not testing missiles in late September, you may want to mark your calendar for a fun experience within the Monument.

Between September 22 and 23 you can participate in the 7th annual White Sands Star Party. Of course, the stars you'll be viewing are in the night sky (not the Hollywood type). The website has more detailed information about the event, as well as a number of photos from prior events. Registrants have the opportunity to camp out overnight in the park. The website says that "the star party allows participants the special opportunity to take advantage of one the nation's premier national parks as well as share our passion of observational astronomy with the general public." Sounds like fun to me.