Dr. Tyler Nordgren
One of the last true dark skies in America...
Can you make a difference with light pollution? Yes, look at the International Dark Sky Association website.
The 2014 Astronomy Festival is scheduled for September 18-20, 2014.
2014 Astronomy Program Schedule
All astronomy programs will start with a ranger talk at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center followed by ranger led telescope viewing. No telescope is required as we will have them available.
Weekly Astronomy Programs
In additional to our normal schedule, we will have astronomy programs both Saturday and Sunday nights of Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend.
See our schedule of events for start times.
Total Lunar Eclipse - Monday April 14, 2014
Star Train with the Nevada Northern Railway - May 23 & September 5, 2014
Memorial Day Weekend - May 24 & 25, 2014
Astronomy Festival - September 18-20, 2014
Full Moon Guided Hikes
Full Moon Hikes are scheduled for June 12, July 12, August 10, and September 8, 2014
A limit of 40 people are permitted on these popular guided hikes and they are first come, first served (no reservations). Free tickets are available the day of the hike at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. Although we keep the location of the full moon hike secret until you pick up your tickets, expect an easy to moderate two-mile hike above 10,000 feet. For the safety and enjoyment of the hiker and the group, the rules listed below are strictly enforced; violations can disqualify hikers from attending this event. Call or email for details.
Perseids Meteor Shower Watching Party - August 12, 2014
At 4:00PM that afternoon, the rangers will hold a special presentation called Cosmic Collisions. See how important collisions in outer space are for life on earth, the origin of the solar system, and the makeup of the universe. The presentation will take place at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
Ideas on Stargazing at Great Basin National Park
Where to Go
What to Bring
While stars twinkle, planets reflect a steady light. They can be seen along a low path in the sky, never higher than 30 degrees above the horizon. (Holding your fist out at arms length with the thumb on top is approximately 10 degrees. Three fists will equal about 30 degrees.)
The planet Venus, often seen just after sunset and just before sunrise, is the second brightest object in the night sky, next to the moon. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can often be seen later at night.
Click for Planet Viewing Guide
Man-made satellites can often be spotted crossing the night sky. Look for a bright, steadily moving object that does not twinkle and is moving in a straight line. Communications satellites orbit the earth moving east to west. Military satellites travel north to south.
"Shooting stars" and "falling stars" are both terms describing meteors, small fragments of debris that create streaks of light across the sky when they come in contact with the Earth's atmosphere. Shooting stars can be seen any night of the year, but the best opportunities for seeing them are during meteor showers.
The meteor showers that usually offer the best shows are the Perseids in August, the Orionids in October, the Leonids in November, and the Geminds in December. Meteor showers are named after the constellation they appear to originate from.
Telescopes available at all astronomy programs has been generously funded by the Great Basin National Park Foundation.
Did You Know?
There are 11 species of conifer trees, 71 species of mammals, 18 species of reptiles, 241 species of birds, 8 species of fish, and over 800 species of plants in Great Basin National Park and the neighboring valleys.