Explore the Night Skies at the Caverns
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 505.785.3134
Contact: Bridget Litten, 505.785.3024
It might seem like the only thing left to explore at Carlsbad Caverns National Park would be one of the 113 known caves in the park, but on Friday, July 13, everyone is invited to explore the park’s night skies in the third annual Celebration of the Night star party.
This year’s “celebration” will begin after the evening’s bat flight program. The public is encouraged to participate in all of the night’s activities, including stargazing presentations, talks, and night hikes. In addition, the park invites expert and amateur astronomers to set up telescopes to view stars, planets, constellations, and other celestial features.
“Once you get away from the bright city lights, you’ll be amazed at what you can see in the night sky,” said park ranger Shannan Marcak. “For a lot of people, this star party will give them their first real glimpse of a dark sky filled with stars and planets.”
In 2005 and 2006, this event was linked with the Bat Flight Breakfast. Combining the two made it easier for people to watch the bat’s exit flight in the evening, then stay and gaze at the stars until dawn and view the bat’s return. However, until the visitor center renovation is completed, the star party and Bat Flight Breakfast will be held on a separate weekends and will not include camping. This year’s Bat Flight Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, July 28, at 5 a.m.
For additional information, contact Shannan Marcak at 505.785.3134 or Bridget Litten at 505.785.3024.
For a detailed schedule of star party activities, click here.
Did You Know?
Jim White is the cowboy credited with being the premier explorer of Carlsbad Cavern. He began to explore the cave as a teenager in 1898, using a handmade wire ladder to decend 60 feet into the cave. For more than a decade, he couldn't convince many locals that there was much to Carlsbad Cavern.