Shenandoah National Park will celebrate the importance of dark skies and the beautiful night skies that Shenandoah protects with the second-annual Night Sky Festival from Friday, August 18 to Monday, August 21. 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. The event will culminate with a viewing of the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. Shenandoah and other national parks provide excellent opportunities to experience starry night skies and natural darkness. Join us to learn the basics of astronomy, discover the importance of protecting dark night skies, enjoy some close up views of stars and planets, and learn about eclipses.
On August 21, 2017, the final day of the festival, the 2017 Solar Eclipse will cross the continental United States. While Shenandoah National Park will only experience 80-85% coverage of the sun at approximately 2:40 p.m., and will not experience a total eclipse, it is still a great place to learn about and experience an eclipse. Join Rangers throughout the weekend and on the day of the eclipse to learn why a solar eclipse happens, what to expect, and how to view it safely.
Activities will take place in a variety of locations throughout the Park. For a complete list of the weekend’s events, see the Night Sky Festival schedule. All programs are free. There is a $25-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 or inclement weather.