Sunday, July 24, 2016

Shenandoah National Park Hosts Night Sky Festival

Shenandoah National Park will celebrate the importance of dark skies and the beautiful night skies that Shenandoah protects with a Park-wide Night Sky Festival from Thursday, July 28th to Sunday, July 31, 2016. Join Park Rangers, special speakers, and local volunteer astronomers during four exciting days of talks, walks, audio-visual presentations, and sky viewing throughout the Park. Shenandoah and other national parks provide excellent opportunities to experience starry night skies and natural darkness. Join the park to learn the basics of astronomy, discover the importance of protecting dark night skies, and enjoy some close up views of stars and planets.

Activities will take place in a variety of locations throughout the Park with events co-hosted by both Shenandoah National Park and Delaware North at Shenandoah National Park, the authorized concessioner for Shenandoah. Special speakers include Shanil Virani, Director of the John C. Wells Planetarium at James Madison University; Greg Redfern, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador; Dr. Uwe Konopka, Associate Professor in Physics at Auburn University; and, Astronaut Tom Jones, Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

For a complete list of the weekend's thirty-four events, see the schedule at All programs, unless otherwise noted on the schedule, are free. There is a $20-per-vehicle entrance fee to the park which is good for seven days.

Participants are encouraged to dress for cool mountain nights during evening activities and bring blankets, chairs, and flashlights for stargazing. Night sky viewing may be canceled depending on cloud cover.


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