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.
Why come to the Astronomy Festival? We have a lot of things to enjoy at the Great Basin Astronomy Festival for all members of the family. During each day have fun looking at and learning about our star, the Sun, through our safe solar telescopes. Enjoy a 'Astronomy 101' presentation which gives you have foundation for objects you see in the night sky. Sit down and relax as the park rangers present their night sky themed talents at the Ranger Talent Show. Then top off each night with viewing through over 30 telescopes, some as tall as 20 feet, with our expert astronomical volunteers at our Star Gazing session - see the highlights of the night sky - including planets and galaxies! Kids will enjoy earning their Deep Space Certificate (and a Milky Way candy bar) from the Dark Rangers and making special glow-in-the-sun solar bracelets.
Plus many, many more fun activities!
Schedule of Events
Check out the schedule of events from 2016 for an example of activities! Take a look and see what interests you.
What is...? Events at the Festival Kids Program and Deep Space Certificate The astronomy festival is a family event and we know the excitement astronomy can bring to the younger members of the family. On Friday and Saturday afternoons, we will have presentations just for kids. Also, during the solar telescope observing we will have a table available to make special glow-in-the-sun solar bracelets. One of the most popular activities, kids will be able to earn their Deep Space Certificate, signed by the Great Basin Dark Rangers (and earn a Milky Way candy bar), each night at the telescope observing field. After getting their assignment they will be required to go to specific telescopes to see and learn about different deep sky objects like planets, galaxies, and nebulas!
Evening Astronomy Fun Each evening of the festival there will be an astronomy event at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
Telescope Observing each night Each night the dedicated volunteer astronomers will have many different telescopes available for public viewing. This is conducted at our observing field - an easy five-minute walk from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
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 Ranger Talent Show On Thursday evening, the rangers of Great Basin National Park will show off their talents by performing astronomy-themed acts at this most popular event of the festival.
Night Sky Photography Workshop
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.
Great Basin National Park Astronomy Festival Directions
in Baker, Nevada
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.
Astronomer's camp: we have limited space where volunteers can camp on the astronomer observing field with your equipment. As an official astronomer volunteer we will waive any camping fees during the festival in our campgrounds but cannot reserve space.
More in-depth information or have a question? Please email us.