Night Sky Program
Night Sky Observing
Night sky viewing is offered at the Cedar Pass Campground Amphitheater on Friday through Monday nights throughout the summer months. After the conclusion of the evening ranger program, stay to look at the spectacular night sky through telescopes provided by the park. The ranger will point out constellations, stars, and planets. Everyone is given an opportunity to see impressive objects of the night sky.
Rarely do most people have the opportunity to experience the awesome dark skies and the spectacular sights found here. Badlands National Park offers such wondrous sights for those who visit the park. On any given night, visitors will be exposed to more than 7,500 stars. Especially phenomenal is the clarity of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Night sky views include not only galaxies but also star clusters, nebulae, planets and moons. Visitors are also treated to fly-overs by numerous satellites and the International Space Station.
Did You Know?
The badlands are some of the fastest eroding landscapes on earth with erosion rates averaging 1” per year in their fragile layers. However, in areas where sandstone is found, the erosion rate may be 1” in 500 years. Often, toadstools form when surrounding sediments erode beneath a sandstone caprock.