Annual Astronomy Festival

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Poster for Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival showing purple shaded cliffs and slopes beneath a night sky and a shooting star

NPS/Peter Densmore

2021 Astronomy Festival


There’s no place quite like Bryce Canyon by day, and no time like a new moon in June to enjoy it by night. The park is pleased to announce that its annual Astronomy Festival will resume this year and is scheduled from Wednesday, June 9th through Saturday, June 12th. As always, the festival is free with park admission, though those familiar with past festivals should anticipate numerous modifications in the interest of public health and safety. Some traditional events, such as telescope viewing, model rockets, and a keynote speaker at Ebenezer's Barn and Grill will not be offered this year. The park plans to resume these in the future.

This year’s festival will feature family-friendly daytime activities and ranger-led evening programs and constellation tours. Daytime activities will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Visitor Center Plaza and are open to the public. Evening programs will be held each night at 9 p.m. on a variety of astronomy-focused topics, while constellation tours will be held at 10, 10:30, and 11 p.m. Evening programs and constellation tours will have limited capacity and require same-day reservations to attend. Reservations will be made by visiting the outdoor Information Tent in the Visitor Center Plaza beginning at 8 a.m. the day of the program or tour.

 

Visit our Ranger Program page for more information on non-Astro Fest daytime ranger programs.

Day 1: Wednesday, June 9 2021

Family-friendly Activities

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Planispheres - Visitor Center Plaza
Stop by the activity tent in the plaza and make a planisphere to use to orient yourself to the night sky!

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Astronomy Art - Visitor Center Plaza
Stop by the plaza activity tent and help us create an astronomical masterpiece to unveil on the last day of Astronomy Festival! For day one, we will be learning about the astronomical objects that comprise the backdrop of our night sky by creating pastel nebulae, comets, stars, and asteroids of our own!

Evening Program

9:00 p.m.

Evening Program: Why are Black Holes Black?
Why is the sky blue? What are stars made of? Almost every person on this planet has looked to the sky and asked some of these questions. As astronomy has progressed, we have answered some but found many more mysteries still needing to be solved. Come with us as we explore a more modern question about some of the most fascinating objects in space, and learn how the sky and its questions connect us all.
Location given at sign-up. This program requires reservations, which can be made same-day at the Visitor Center Information Tent beginning at 8 a.m. until capacity is reached.

Constellation Tours

10 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.
Join a ranger to learn about the constellations visible in our night sky.
Location given at sign-up. This program requires reservations, which can be made same-day at the Visitor Center Information Tent beginning at 8 a.m. until capacity is reached.

 

Day 2: Thursday, June 10 2021

Family-friendly Activities

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Paper constellations - Visitor Center Plaza
Stop by the activity tent in the plaza and make your own paper constellation and star story!

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Astronomy Art - Visitor Center Plaza
Stop by the plaza activity tent and help us create an astronomical masterpiece to unveil on the last day of Astronomy Festival! For day two, we will be learning about planets in our solar system by creating watercolor planets of our own!

Evening Program

9:00 p.m.

Looking Back at Bryce, Looking Back at Home
Bryce Canyon National Park is home to star-filled nights and over 50 years of rangers providing astronomy programs! Protecting these dark night skies has been a mission for us as well as a global effort for the homes of all the visitors to Bryce Canyon. Come enjoy an evening program where we journey away from Bryce, from our planet Earth, and take a moment to look back at our home through extraterrestrial skies nearby and far into our solar system.
Location given at sign-up. This program requires reservations, which can be made same-day at the Visitor Center Information Tent beginning at 8 a.m. until capacity is reached.

Constellation Tours

10 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.
Join a ranger to learn about the constellations visible in our night sky.
Location given at sign-up. This program requires reservations, which can be made same-day at the Visitor Center Information Tent beginning at 8 a.m. until capacity is reached.

 

Day 3: Friday, June 11 2021

Family-friendly Activities

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sundials - Visitor Center Plaza
Stop by the activity tent in the plaza and learn how to tell time without a clock as we create our own sundials!

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Astronomy Art - Visitor Center Plaza
Stop by the plaza activity tent and help us create an astronomical masterpiece to unveil on the last day of Astronomy Festival! For day three, we will be learning about human space exploration during a coloring activity!

Evening Program

9:00 p.m.

Searching for Planets
Our solar system is not alone in the universe. Just as we once discovered new worlds in our ownneighborhood, scientists are now looking further to find planets around other stars.Come learn how planets are found and how you might be able to help!
Location given at sign-up. This program requires reservations, which can be made same-day at the Visitor Center Information Tent beginning at 8 a.m. until capacity is reached.

Constellation Tours

10 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.
Join a ranger to learn about the constellations visible in our night sky.
Location given at sign-up. This program requires reservations, which can be made same-day at the Visitor Center Information Tent beginning at 8 a.m. until capacity is reached.

 

Day 4: Saturday, June 12 2021

Family-friendly Activities

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Solar System Hats - Visitor Center Plaza
Stop by the activity tent in the plaza and learn about our solar system in a fun solar system hat craft!

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Astronomy Art - Visitor Center Plaza
Stop by the plaza activity tent and help us create an astronomical masterpiece! For the final day of Astronomy Festival, we will be debuting a festival long art collaboration and learning about our place in the night sky through a planetary poetry activity.

Evening Program

9:00 p.m.

Flying by Night
Did you know that most birds depend on darkness as much as they depend on light? Come discover why protecting birds means also protecting natural darkness! In this program you will learn how birds utilize the night sky, and what you can do to help protect them from light pollution.
Location given at sign-up. This program requires reservations, which can be made same-day at the Visitor Center Information Tent beginning at 8 a.m. until capacity is reached.

Constellation Tours

10 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.
Join a ranger to learn about the constellations visible in our night sky.
Location given at sign-up. This program requires reservations, which can be made same-day at the Visitor Center Information Tent beginning at 8 a.m. until capacity is reached.

 
Milky way galaxy and a sky of stars above a silhouette of rock spires and cliffs

NPS/Keith Moore

Last updated: June 8, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O Box 640201
Bryce, UT 84764

Phone:

(435) 834-5322
Phones are answered and messages returned as soon as possible as staffing allows.

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