Night Sky Fes­ti­val

Rappahannock News - - THE RAPP -

Shenan­doah Na­tional Park will cel­e­brate our con­nec­tion to the uni­verse dur­ing the third an­nual Night Sky Fes­ti­val be­gin­ning to­mor­row through Sun­day, Au­gust 10-12.

Park rangers, Na­tional Aero­nau­tics and Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NASA) So­lar Sys­tem Am­bas­sadors, am­a­teur astronomers and a vet­eran NASA as­tro­naut will be on hand to en­cour­age vis­i­tors to value dark skies through a va­ri­ety of spe­cial pro­grams and ac­tiv­i­ties. Pro­grams will take place at Dickey Ridge Vis­i­tor Cen­ter (mile 42.5 on Sky­line Drive), Byrd Vis­i­tor Cen­ter (mile 51), Sky­land Am­phithe­ater (mile 42.5), Big Mead­ows Am­phithe­ater (mile 51) and Loft Moun­tain Am­phithe­ater (mile 79.5).

Ranger-led pro­grams will fo­cus on night-ac­tive an­i­mals, re­cent dis­cov­er­ies in space and con­stel­la­tions. There will be op­por­tu­ni­ties for stargaz­ing, con­stel­la­tion tours, safe so­lar view­ing through a tele­scope, a planet walk, Ju­nior Ranger ac­tiv­i­ties and more.

Delaware North, the park con­ces­sioner, will spon­sor pre­sen­ta­tions by two guest speak­ers on Satur­day, Au­gust 11, in Byrd Vis­i­tor Cen­ter au­di­to­rium. Vet­eran as­tro­naut and space sci­en­tist Tom Jones will present “Be­yond Earth: Hu­man­ity’s Fu­ture in Space” at 4:30 p.m. and “Sky Walk­ing: An As­tro­naut’s Jour­ney” at 7 p.m. NASA So­lar Sys­tem Am­bas­sador Greg Red­fern will present a pro­gram, “Shenan­doah Skies and the Per­seids” at 8 p.m. and again at 9 p.m., be­fore head­ing out into the Big Meadow to view the night skies and watch for me­te­ors (weather per­mit­ting).

NASA So­lar Sys­tem Am­bas­sador and Park Ranger Kristin Hen­der­shot will present “How’s the Weather in Space?” at 4:30 p.m. Satur­day, Au­gust 11, at Byrd Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, and also “Me­teor Show­ers: Hot and Cold” at Big Mead­ows Am­phithe­ater at 8:30 p.m. Sun­day, Au­gust 12.

Am­a­teur astronomers in­vite vis­i­tors to view the heav­ens through their tele­scopes at the “Night Skies” pro­gram start­ing at 7:30 p.m. on Fri­day, Au­gust 10 in the Big Meadow (mile 51). Vis­i­tors may join them again start­ing at 9:30 p.m. on Sun­day to stargaze and view the Per­seid Me­teor Shower. Out­door night sky view­ing events de­pend on clear skies.

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