Shenandoah National Park presents Night Sky Festival
Shenandoah National Park will conduct its fourth annual Night Sky Festival from Aug. 9-11. Rangers and guest speakers will present a variety of programs at sites throughout the park focusing on space, celestial objects, and the importance of dark night skies.
Guest speakers on Saturday, August 10, will be veteran space shuttle astronaut Tom Jones and NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern. Jones will present two programs in the afternoon at Byrd Visitor Center auditorium (mile 51 on Skyline Drive): “Skywalking: an Astronaut’s Journey” at 1:00 p.m. and “Beyond Earth: Humanity’s Future in Space” at 4:30 p.m. Redfern will present “This Isn’t Your Grandaddy’s Moon” at 7:00 p.m. and will repeat it at 8:00 p.m. These programs are sponsored by Delaware North, the park concessioner.
Other activities throughout the weekend include ranger talks, audience-centered discussion, children’s activities, and telescope/night sky viewing. Special programs will take place at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6) , Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51), and the amphitheaters at Mathews Arm Campground (mile 22.2), Skyland (mile 42.5), Big Meadows (mile 51) and Loft Mountain (mile 79.5).
All programs are free. No reservations are needed. However, there is a $30 per vehicle entrance fee to the park that is good for seven days. The complete program schedule can be found on the park’s special events page at: https://www.nps.gov/shen/