Meteor Shower and Stargazing Event
Contact: Karen Schlom, 435-719-2240
Contact: Kaitlyn Thomas, 435-719-2243
On the evening of August 11, 2013, Arches National Park will host a “Moon and Meteors” special event at Balanced Rock Viewpoint, 9 miles (14.5km) up the park road past the visitor center.
The annual Perseid meteor shower, which peaks between August 10th and 13th, may produce as many as 50 to 100 meteors an hour from 10:00 p.m. until pre-dawn. The park will offer a special ranger-led night sky/stargazing event to help visitors enjoy this unique experience.
Rangers will be on site from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. to focus telescopes on the Moon, Saturn, and various deep sky objects, and to provide information about the meteor shower. Visitors may independently stargaze and search for meteors from along the Balanced Rock trail. Onsite parking is limited; additional parking and toilets are available at the nearby picnic area.
Visitors wishing to participate in this special, free event are reminded to:
• carpool to limit traffic congestion,
• bring their own chairs, water, and flashlights (preferably red ones to protect night vision),
• bring personal binoculars or stargazing equipment if you have them, and
• stay on trails, paved surfaces, or bare rock to avoid stepping on living soil crust.
To learn more about how the National Park Service protects night skies and natural darkness, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/night/index.cfm.
Did You Know?
Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal park ranger at Arches in the late 1950s. His 1968 memoir of this experience, "Desert Solitaire," has become a classic of desert literature.