Astronomy Festival 2006 Recap
Attendance at the Sixth Annual Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival held June 21-24, 2006, was up 75% over last year’s event. This event gave park visitors the opportunity to learn more about the cosmos and gaze at the outstanding dark skies of Southern Utah. Visitors were treated to four clear, dark nights and the opportunity to look through 30 telescopes set up by the Salt Lake Astronomical Society.
The Festival featured activities for both the astronomy buff and casual stargazer. Workshops, programs, and classes included topics such as choosing your first telescope, astronomy for kids, night walks, nocturnal animals, finding constellations, astronomy by ancient cultures, protecting the night sky, your galactic address, and a stroll down a scale model of our solar system. Four guest speakers: Nicole Frey (Utah State University Extension), Patrick Wiggins (NASA Solar System Ambassador), Geoff Goins (Night Sky Adventures), and Christian Luginbuhl (US Naval Observatory) highlighted the event schedule. The park recorded over 6300 visitor contacts during the four days of the festival.
The many visitors who extended their stay at Bryce Canyon National Park to participate in the festival were awed by one of the last grand sanctuaries of dark skies in our country. Many youngsters saw the Milky Way for the first time, and many adults saw it for the first time in years. The National Park Service endeavors to protect and share its scenery with America, including the spectacular view of the night sky after sunset. Stargazing programs are offered throughout the summer months. Next year’s Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival is scheduled for June 13-16, 2007.