Caverns to Host "Stars in the Parks"
Contact: Bridget Litten, 505.785.3024
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, in partnership with the National Public Observatory’s “Stars in the Parks” program, will host an evening of stargazing on Saturday, March 18. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with a tour of the night sky with John Gilkison, president of the NPO. Afterward, a telescope will be available to view planets, nebulae, open clusters and galaxies. All activities will end at 9:30 p.m.
The park is perfect for viewing the wonders of the night sky due to its location away from the lights of the local communities. Long ignored as one of Carlsbad Caverns’ resources, the dark skies recently gained public attention when the park held its first annual overnight astronomy event in conjunction with its annual Bat Flight Breakfast. On Saturday night, the NPO will provide an opportunity for visitors to see for themselves what is visible in the night skies of southeastern New Mexico and just what an extraordinary resource this truly is.
Everyone is invited to attend and encouraged to bring jackets and blankets, lawn chairs and a pair of binoculars. While there are no fees or advance reservations, park staff requests that all participants arrive no later that 7:15 p.m., as bright car headlights impair night vision. This event will be held in the main (east) parking lot in front of the visitor center, with parking limited to the lot nearest the visitor center restaurant (west). The visitor center and cave will not be open.
For further information, please, contact Shannan Marcak at 505.785.3134 or Hugh Hawthorne at 505.785.3135.
Did You Know?
Scientists are studying "extremophile" microbes in the highly protected and almost pristine Lechuguilla Cave that are leading scientists towards generating a possible cure for cancer.