Night Skies Over the LBJ Ranch

A view of the night sky over the Texas White House.

Image courtesy of Klein Villarreal

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News Release Date: November 10, 2017

Contact: Patrick Pelarski, 830-868-7128 x 246

Contact: Dave Schafer, 830-868-7128 x 235

STONEWALL, TEXAS – Make plans to view the wonders of the night sky at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park on Saturday, November 18. Beginning at 4:30 pm at the LBJ Ranch near Stonewall, the National Park Service will host programs highlighting the marvels of the night sky and the importance of preserving dark skies. The Hill Country Astronomers (HCA) will set up telescopes and offer a stargazing experience from 6:15 to 8:30 pm.

The event will begin with an astronomy program at 4:30 pm in the Hangar visitor center. John Watson, a member of HCA, will present a planetarium talk that will feature dramatic audio-visual depictions of the night sky. A group of amateur astronomers founded HCA in 2011. Their educational mission encourages the public to learn about astronomy and space science. For more information, visit www.hillcountryastronomers.com.

At 5:15 pm, Cliff Kaplan will present “Better Lights for Better Nights: Stewarding Night Skies in the Hill Country.” Mr. Kaplan, a program manager with the Hill Country Alliance, will emphasize that area residents are fortunate to enjoy beautiful night skies. But he will also discuss threats to the region’s night skies, and the impacts of light pollution on wildlife, human health, the local economy, and the region’s heritage. He will provide tips on night-friendly lighting. For more information, visit www.hillcountryalliance.org.

After the two presentations conclude at 6:00 pm, park staff will escort visitors to the telescopes, which will be set up on the ranch’s airstrip. Visitors can view stars, globular star clusters, and even distant galaxies. Plan to arrive early for these presentations (the LBJ Ranch entrance will close at 6:00 pm). Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. Flashlights are recommended. The program is free of charge.

Entry to the LBJ Ranch is located north of US Highway 290, just off of Ranch Road 1. In case of inclement weather, call the Hangar visitor center at 830-644-2396 for event updates. For information on night skies in national parks, visitwww.nps.gov/subjects/nightskies.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is open seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information call 830-868-7128 ext. 231 or 244, or visit www.nps.gov/lyjo and www.facebook.com/LBJohnsonNPS.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.



Last updated: November 10, 2017

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Mailing Address:

100 Ladybird Lane
P.O. Box 329

Johnson City, TX 78636

Phone:

(830) 868-7128

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