The ninth annual Great Basin National Park Astronomy Festival will take place September 6-8. Join us for three days and three nights of astronomy activities for all ages! Great Basin National Park in Baker Nevada is an International Dark Sky Park, as certified by the International Dark Sky Association, and features some of the darkest night skies in the country. During the daytime visitors may safely view the sun and participate in a variety of programs, while each evening features a different event followed by several hours of telescope observing.
Dedicated volunteers will be on hand with telescopes of different sizes. They will guide visitors to look at planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and other deep sky objects. We will also have a nightly constellation tour to share stories of the sky. Telescope viewing begins each night at 7:30 pm.
Thursday evening at 6:30 PM we will kick things off with our Ranger Talent Show. On Friday evening we will welcome our keynote speaker, Dr. John Barentine, Director of Public Policy for the International Dark Sky Association. Dr. Barentine is an important park partner and has been a key player in our Dark Sky certification process. He will address the challenges of preserving dark skies, discuss the impact of the International Dark Sky Association, and provide practical solutions that empower everyone to help take back the night.
Saturday night will feature speaker: PhD candidate Greg Furlich from the University of Utah. Greg will discuss high level physics and the cosmic ray observatory in Delta, UT. He will also be staffing a display table on Saturday afternoon, using a cloud chamber to demonstrate the condensation trails left behind from ionizing particles. Each of these evening events will be at 6:30 pm at the back patio of the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
Generous support for the festival comes from the Great Basin National Park Foundation.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.