News Release

Badlands Astronomy Festival

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Date: July 1, 2021
Contact: Aaron Kaye, 605-433-5243

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, INTERIOR, S.D. — Badlands National Park has partnered with the NASA South Dakota Space Grant Consortium to co-sponsor the 2021 Badlands Astronomy Festival, July 9th-11th. The festival brings together space science professionals, amateur astronomers, educators, and visitors for a three-day celebration.

Novices and experts alike will enjoy the spectacular dark night skies of Badlands National Park at public star parties each evening. During the afternoon each day, a variety of family-friendly activities will provide opportunities for visitors to learn about the night sky, the sun, and space exploration. Telescopes will be provided by astronomers from the Black Hills Astronomical Society, Badlands National Park, Dark Ranger Telescope Tours and the University of Utah for day and night observations. 
The schedule of events includes astrophotography workshops, solar observing opportunities, special guest speakers, public stargazing activities, static displays, as well as equipment demonstrations by professional and amateur astronomers. This free event is made possible through funding and support from the Badlands Natural History Association, NASA South Dakota Space Grant Consortium, Dark Ranger Telescope Tours, Black Hills Astronomical Society, International Dark Sky Association, University of Utah, Badlands National Park Conservancy, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, and Badlands National Park.

Schedule of Events:Astrophotography WorkshopAstrophotography 101 – Or How to Shoot the Night Skies”Friday, July 9; Saturday, July 10; and Sunday, July 11 1:30-3:00 pm in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center TheaterThis workshop will provide opportunities to explore various types of equipment and techniques to shoot great night-sky photos.

Sun Fun Solar ObservingFriday, July 9; Saturday, July 10; and Sunday, July 11 3:00-5:00 pm at the Ben Reifel Visitor CenterView solar flares and sunspots through our special solar telescopes, 100% safe for eyes. Various other sun-based activities will also be offered.

Guest Speakers/Evening Programs/Public StargazingFriday, July 9; Saturday, July 10; and Sunday, July 11 9pm - 11:30 pm (Fri, Sat, Sun) at the Cedar Pass Campground AmphitheaterNightly evening presentations will be provided by invited guest speakers followed by hands-on experience with multiple state-of-the-art telescopes and amateur astronomers providing constellation tours while guiding visitors around the universe. View planets, star clusters, nebulae, and double stars while going down the “scope line.”9:00 p.m. Friday night guest speaker: Diane Knutson, International Dark Sky Association9:00 p.m. Saturday night guest speaker: Tom Durkin, NASA SD Space Grant Consortium9:00 p.m. Sunday night guest speaker: “Dark Ranger” Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger Telescope Tours

Last updated: July 1, 2021

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25216 Ben Reifel Road
Interior, SD 57750


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