Southwest Astronomy Festival: Previous Years


2017 Southwest Astronomy Festival

Shortly after Cedar Breaks National Monument became an International Dark Sky Park, park employees launched the first annual Southwest Astronomy Festival. Various astronomy events took place September 22-23, 2017 throughout Southwestern Utah and beyond at locations including; Cedar City, St. George, Springdale, Ivins, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Zion National Park, Red Cliffs Recreation Area, and Pipe Springs National Monument.

Read the 2017 News Release announcing the first Annual Southwest Astronomy Festival.

View the 2017 Southwest Astronomy Festival Event Brochure


Complete Listing of 2017 Events

Friday SEPT 22, 2017 - Iron County Area

Art Fusion - Southern Utah Museum of Art
Join us at the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) for a hands-on art project about the night sky. SUMA family art nights focus on visual arts, theatre, and dance. The evenings are for families to visit SUMA and participate in free artistic activities. 6-7 pm @ SUMA (13 S. 300 W. Cedar City, UT)
Kids doing activities at a table in a gym.
Astronomy Extravaganza - Cedar City, North Elementary
A family-friendly event with lots of hands-on activities at North Elementary’s STEM Center. Learn about the sun, stars, planets, and solar systems beyond our own. Climb inside SUU’s Ashcroft Observatory planetarium and explore the night sky. 6-8 pm @ North Elementary (550 W 200 N Cedar City, UT)

Save the Night Walking Tour - Cedar City, North Elementary
How can you save the beautiful night skies of Southern Utah? Join a park ranger for a walking tour to look at examples of dark-sky friendly lighting.” Meet in parking lot at North Elementary. 8-9 pm @ North Elementary (550 W 200 N Cedar City, UT)

Star Party - Cedar City, North Elementary
Right after the Astronomy Extravaganza, we will have a star party and constellation tour. Come see the stars, planets, and amazing deep sky objects through telescopes! 8:30-10:30 pm @ North Elementary (550 W 200 N Cedar City, UT)
Ranger describing light pollution.
Ranger describing types of light pollution to students.

Friday SEPT 22 - Washington County Area

Animals Under the Stars - Red Cliffs Reserve, St. George
Join us for kid’s activities that teach about nocturnal animals and animal constellations. 10 am - 5 pm @ Red Cliffs Reserve Visitors Center (10 N. 100 E. St. George, UT)

Beneath the Surface - St. George
Sarah Young and her company, Come for the Sun, Stay for the Stars, presents Alex Chamberlain who will share his experiences photographing the night sky, through a multimedia presentation and a dazzling art exhibit. To purchase tickets visit or call (435) 652-7675. 6 pm @ Eccles Fine Arts Center, Concert Hall (225 South University Avenue St. George, UT)

Group of people walking on a a road at twilight.
Desert Discoveries After Dark - Red Cliffs Reserve, St. George
Join a BLM park ranger on a quiet hike to discover the hidden world after sundown, engaging your senses to explore the desert as it comes alive at dusk. Easy to moderate hike, 1-3 miles, ages 10+. 15 participants max. Pre-registration required. Please call Melissa at 435-688-3283 or 435-359-3477 to register.
7:30-9:30 pm @ Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (345 E. Riverside Dr. St. George, UT)
Astronomy volunteer.
Star Party - Ivins
The Saint George Astronomy Group will be hosting a star party starting at dusk at Unity Park. Come look through some amazing scopes at stars, nebulae, planets, and more! 8-11 pm @ Unity Park (200 W. 400 S. Ivins, UT)

Zion Dark Sky Program - Zion National Park
Join a Ranger for an evening program about astronomy, dark skies, and stars! 8:30 pm @ Zion Lodge Auditorium (1 Zion Canyon Dr. Springdale, UT)

Star Party - Springdale
A family friendly event. Come see the stars and planets through our telescopes! 8:30-10:30 pm @ Canyon Community Center (126 Lion Blvd. Springdale, UT

Saturday SEPT. 23 - Pipe Spring NM, Arizona

Solar Party - Pipe Springs National Monument

Come look at our sun through a specially filtered solar telescope and hear Paiute perspectives on the sun. 1-4 pm (Arizona Time) @ Pipe Spring National Monument Visitor Center (406 N. Pipe Spring Rd, Fredonia, AZ)

Star Party - Kaibab Paiute Campground

The Kaibab Paiute band are teaming up with the Pipe Spring rangers to bring you a star party that not only has telescope viewings, but also includes stories of the stars and constellations. 7 pm (Arizona Time) @ Kaibab Paiute Campground (1 Pipe Spring Rd, Fredonia, AZ)

Indoor Planetarium
Indoor Planetarium supplied by Ashcroft Observatory - Southern Utah University.

Saturday SEPT. 23 - Iron County Area

Inflatable Planetarium - Cedar City
Climb inside SUU’s inflatable planetarium and get close and personal with the stars! 10-1 pm @ Cedar Main Library (303 N. 100 W. Cedar City, UT)
Astronomy talks & Workshops
10 am - 5 pm @ Cedar Main Library (303 N. 100 W. Cedar City, UT)

10 am: The Effects of Space Travel on the Human Body with Dr. Ali Siahpush.
11 am: Laws of the Last Frontier: Space Law and Policies, a series of debates with Dr. Angela Pool-Funai.
1 pm: Asteroids, Dinosaurs, and You! With Zachary Schierl.
2 pm: How to Start a Little Free Library on SPAAAAAAAACE with Leesa Ricci.
3 pm: History of Astronomy in 60 Minutes or Less with Kaleb Smith.
4 pm: Preserving the Night Sky with Dr. Jackie Grant.
Group of people with telescopes Solar Scope Viewing.
Solar Scope viewing at Cedar Breaks.
Might As Well Be Walking On the Sun - Cedar City
Come stare at the sun with us! We will have solar telescopes set up next to the Main Library. Get an up close and personal view of the sun – as long as it’s active that day (and there are no clouds) we’ll see sunspots and solar prominences! 1-4 pm @ Cedar Main Library (303 N. 100 W. Cedar City, UT)

Astrogeek Networking - St. George
Hob nob with astro-nerds, artists, astrophotographers, and astronomy enthusiasts. Everyone welcome! 6-8 pm @ Artisans Art Gallery (94 W. Center St. Cedar City, UT)

Night Sky Photography Workshop - Cedar Breaks National Monument
Learn the ins and outs of night sky photography with professional photographer Mike Saemisch. Seating limited, please RSVP to 7:30-10 pm @ Cedar Breaks National Monument (Ranger Station)
silhouettes of people with a sunset in the background.
Preparing for a star party at Point Supreme.
Star Party - Cedar Breaks National Monument
Join the Cedar Breaks dark sky team to see a stunning sky in a stunning location. Located 20 miles outside of Cedar City, this is a wonderful dark place to view the night sky. 8-11 pm @ Cedar Breaks National Monument (Point Supreme)

Star Party - Ashcroft Observatory, Cedar City
Visit the Ashcroft Observatory to view the night sky. Located just 4 miles out of town, this observatory is close to the city and offers an accessible viewing area. 8-10 pm @ Ashcroft Observatory (745 Hillcrest Dr. Cedar City, UT)

Star Party - Cedar Canyon Nature Park, Cedar City
Immediately following the Astrogeek Networking, SUSF will continue the party by going a little way up the canyon and busting out the telescopes! Only a few miles outside of town, this is a nice dark place not too far from civilization. 9-11 pm @ Cedar Canyon Nature Park (1310 E. UT-14, Cedar City, UT
Two older gentlemen with telescopes.

Saturday SEPT. 23 - Washington County Area

Solar Party - St. George Children's Museum
The Saint George Astronomy Group will host a solar viewing event. Look at our nearest star and enjoy family oriented crafts and activities. 1-4 pm @ St. George Children’s Museum (86 S. Main St. St George, UT)

Lighting Up the Night - St. George & Bever Dam Conservation Area
Harun Mehmedinovic from the International Dark Sky Association speaks about the history of human observation of stars, the origins and rise of light pollution, and the dark-sky movement. 6 pm @ Public Lands Office (345 E Riverside Dr. St George, UT)
Night sky photography workshop
Alex Chamberlain explains how to plan for, properly expose, and artistically shoot the moon, Milky Way, and nightscape photos. Indoor presentation with an outdoor workshop at the Beaver Dam Wash Conservation Area. 7 pm @ Public Lands Office (345 E Riverside Dr. St George, UT)

Dark Sky Drop In - Zion National Park
Come by for views of stars, planets, constellations, and deep sky objects. 8:30 pm @ Zion Nature Center (Off UT-9, Zion National Park, UT)

Ongoing events

Reach For the Stars - Cedar City
A display of photographs of nebulae, stars, and supernovae. September 1, 2017 – October 1, 2017 @ Cedar Main Library (303 N. 100 W. Cedar City, UT)

Telescope Lending Program - Various Locations
Cedar Breaks debuts its telescope lending library in partnership with local libraries. Now anyone with a library card can check out a telescope! Find telescopes in: Parowan, Cedar City, St. George, Hurricane, Springdale.

Last updated: August 9, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Cedar Breaks National Monument: Administrative Office
2390 West Highway 56
Suite #11

Cedar City, UT 84720


(435) 586-9451 x4420

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