Great Basin Astronomy Festival

The Veil Nebula
This image of the Veil Nebula was taken at the 2012 Astronomy Festival.

Jeffrey Kaufman

The 2018 Astronomy Festival will be September 6 - 8!

Join park rangers and experience out-of-this-world family fun, excitement, and learn about day and nighttime astronomy. Here at Great Basin National Park we have some of the best air quality in the nation which translates to clear daytime skies, and incredibly dark night skies.

Don't have your own telescope? There will be many telescopes of different makes, shapes, and sizes for you and your family to look at the sun, stars, planets and other deep sky objects including nebulae and galaxies. There will also be activities for all ages!



Check out the schedule of events for the 2018 festival! (Some information may change by the festival dates).

Solar Telescope Observing

Each afternoon on the back porch of the Lehman Caves Visitor Center special sun-safe solar telescopes will be set up to view on closest star - the Sun. Look at for sunspots, and if you're lucky, see a solar flare!

park staff performing at the talent show
Come see our park staff show off their astronomy-related talents!

NPS Photo

Park Ranger Talent Show
One of our most popular events! The rangers of Great Basin National Park will show off their talents by performing astronomy-themed acts, from singing to skits.

Evening Programs & Telescope Observing

Every night of the festival, there will be an astronomy event at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center and telescopes set up at our observing field, an easy five minute walk from the visitor center. Dedicated volunteer astronomers will have many different telescopes available for public viewing and our Dark Rangers will be there to give you a tour of the night sky.

Night Sky Photography Workshop
Reservations are required.
Interested in learning how to photograph the night sky? The Dark Rangers will be hosting a photography workshop. The workshop is free but is limited to 30 people. The workshop will cover topics of preparing your camera and composition. Information about reserving a spot will be posted closer to Festival time.

Ranger at solar bracelet-making station
You can make a bracelet using special beads that change color in the sun!

NPS Photo

Kids Program and Deep Space Certificate
There will be programs just for kids and when you visit the solar telescope, you can also make special bracelets that change color in the sun. Kids will also be alb eto earn their Deep Space Certificate, which is one of our most popular activities. Attend a night-time stargazing events and learn about deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulas to earn the certificate (and a Milky Way candy bar)!

Keynote Speaker: John Barentine, Director of Conservation, International Dark Skies Association: "Star Light, Star Bright: Protecting Our Heritage Of Dark Skies”

astronomy volunteer sets up big telescope
Astronomy volunteers play an important role in the festival, bringing telescopes to share with the public and helping with programs.

NPS Photo

Volunteers Needed!

Are you an amateur or professional astronomer? Do you like to share your passion for astronomy with the public? We need your help! We are looking for volunteers for our festival. Give a presentation or just set up your gear for others to look through. Individuals and astronomy clubs are welcome.

Detailed volunteer information can be found on our Astronomy Festival Volunteer page.

Camping: we have limited space where volunteers can camp on the astronomer observing field with your equipment. For official astronomer volunteers, we will waive any camping fees during the festival in our campgrounds, but cannot we reserve space.

Questions? Please email us.

Last updated: June 5, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Great Basin National Park
100 Great Basin National Park

Baker, NV 89311


(775) 234-7331
Available 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Closed on Federal holidays.

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