2018 Astronomy Festival

Date & Time
Multiple Days: 07/06/2018, 07/07/2018, 07/08/2018
Fee Information
Free with paid park entrance fee

Novices and experts alike will enjoy the spectacular dark night skies of Badlands National Park at public star parties each evening.  During the day, a variety of family-friendly events will provide opportunities for visitors to learn about the night sky, the sun, and space exploration.  Additional telescopes will be provided by astronomers from the Black Hills Astronomical Society, Celestron, and Dark Ranger Telescope Tours for day and night observations. 
The schedule of events includes nightly special guest speakers, public stargazing activities, solar observing opportunities, planetarium shows, static displays, as well as equipment demonstrations by professional and amateur astronomers.  Badlands Natural History Association (BNHA) will offer night sky-themed merchandise which will be available for sale in the bookstore at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.
This event is made possible through funding and support from the Badlands Natural History Association, Celestron, NASA South Dakota Space Grant Consortium, Dark Ranger Telescope Tours, town of Interior, Black Hills Astronomical Society, South Dakota Discovery Center, Cedar Pass Lodge, and Badlands National Park.
Schedule of Events:
Planetarium Shows
Saturday, July 7; and Sunday, July 8
9:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Interior School Gym, 2 miles south of The Ben Reifel Visitor Center
The South Dakota Discovery Center will present planetarium shows using their portable planetarium.
Sun Fun Solar Observing
Friday, July 6; Saturday, July 7; and Sunday, July 8
3:00-5:00 pm at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center
View solar flares and sunspots through our special solar telescopes, 100% safe for eyes. Various other sun based activities will also be offered during this particular event.
Evening Programs/Public Stargazing
Friday, July 6; Saturday, July 7; and Sunday, July 8
8/9pm - 11:30 pm at the Cedar Pass Campground Amphitheater
Nightly 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.”


Ben Reifel Visitor Center Area

Fee Information:
Free with paid park entrance fee

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

25216 Ben Reifel Road
Interior, SD 57750


(605) 433-5361

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