The Great Basin National Park has some of the darkest skies in the United States, the low humidity, minimal light pollution, and high elevation combine to create a window to the universe. On a clear, moonless night it is possible to see with the naked eye, thousands of stars, five of our solar system’s eight planets, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way and much more.
As the ‘Great Basin National Park’ in Nevada has some of the best air quality in the nation, where the daytime skies are clear and the night skies are incredible dark, it is the ideal place to hold the Astronomy Festival taking place Sept 18 – 20.
At this family Festival you will learn about day and night astronomy while having fun participating in the interesting events and looking through the 30 or 40 special telescopes set up for the public to observe and learn about the objects in the sky, such as planets, galaxies, and nebulas Some of these telescopes are as tall as 20 feet, they are manned by astronomical volunteers during the star gazing sessions, between 8 p.m. and midnight, each night.
Other activities during the Festival include, a Thursday evening Astronomy themed performance by the Rangers; a Friday talk to be given by the Keynote Speaker – Wally Pacholka, and on Saturday an award winning documentary ‘City Dark’ and the premiere of the Great Basin Astronomy Ranger Minute, will be shown
On Friday and Saturday afternoon during the solar telescope observation there will be a table for the kids to make special “glow-in-the-sun” solar bracelets. The kids can also earn a ‘Deep Space Certificate signed by the Great Basin Dark Rangers. First they get their assignment, each night at 8 p.m., then they go to a specific telescope and see and learn about the different deep sky objects like planets, galaxies, and nebulas.
Recommended sites: http://www.nps.gov/grba/planyourvisit/directions.htm