Night Sky Festival

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Join us for the Third Annual Night Sky Festival!
Friday, August 10, 2018 - Sunday, August 12, 2018

 
Discover the Park after dark during the 2018 Night Sky Festival! Join us for stargazing, Ranger talks, kids activities, and guest presentations ranging from topics such as space weather, space travel, and our future in space. If you plan on attending one of the outdoor evening activities make sure to be prepared for the weather and bring a flashlight with a red filter. All events are free with park admission. Outdoor activities may be canceled in the case of inclement weather.
 
People stargazing in a meadow.
Stargazing at Big Meadows during the 2017 Night Sky Festival.

NPS/Mary O'Neill

 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Ranger's Choice Talk

11.00 a.m.
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, 20-30 minutes
Find out how dark skies are important to Shenandoah National Park.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Night Skies

7:30 p.m.
Rapidan Fire Road parking lot, across from Byrd Visitor Center
Join amateur astronomers for a presentation on light pollution and the value of dark skies as you gaze at planets and stars through telescopes. Event sponsored by Delaware North Companies.Program will be canceled if weather is inclement. Call (540) 999-2222 on the day of the event to check status.

Loft Mountain Evening Program: Owls: Efficient Winged Predators

8:30 p.m.
Loft Mountain Amphitheater, 45 minutes
There are some amazing nocturnal hunters in the park! Discover how the park manages resources and habitats on which these birds rely.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Skyland Evening Program: The Last Frontier

8:30 p.m.
Skyland Amphitheater, 45 minutes
We have come a long way since John Lederer became the first European to document his discoveries west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today we set our eyes on space. Come learn about recent discoveries and how we can all play a role in protecting our night skies.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.
 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Ranger's Choice Talk

11.00 a.m.
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, 20-30 minutes
Find out how dark skies are important to Shenandoah National Park.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Wild Side of Shenandoah

11:30 a.m.
Byrd Visitor Center patio, 20-30 minutes

Discover how different animals rely on dark skies for survival.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Solar Viewing

12:00 p.m.
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center patio
Stop by anytime between 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to safely view our closest star through a solar scope and learn about the center of our solar system.

Solar Viewing

1:00 p.m.
Byrd Visitor Center patio
Join NASA Solar System Ambassador Kristin Hendershot anytime between 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m to safely view our sun, using a telescope with solar filter, and learn about the center of our solar system.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Junior Ranger Program

2:30 p.m.
Byrd Visitor Center, 1.5 hours
Learn about stories in the stars and design your own constellation, then head outside to find out how animals rely on dark skies. Designed for ages 7-12. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Assisted listening device available upon request.

How’s the Weather in Space?

3:00 p.m.
Byrd Visitor Center auditorium, 45 minutes
Learn how NASA forecasts space weather that is caused by our dynamic sun with NASA Solar System Ambassador Kristin Hendershot.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Beyond Earth: Humanity’s Future in Space

4:30 p.m.
Byrd Visitor Center auditorium, 45 minutes
Join veteran astronaut and space scientist Tom Jones to find out about technology breakthroughs that will open the solar system to scientific exploration, tourism and explosive growth of commercial opportunity. Event sponsored by Delaware North Companies.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Junior Ranger Program

4:30 p.m.
Meet at parking lot near Mathews Arm Campground entrance kiosk, 1 hour
Through hands-on activities, discover the amazing world of animals, from mammals to insects, that are active at night. Designed for ages 7-12. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Evening Ranger Talk: The Last Frontier

5:00 p.m.
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, 45 minutes
We have come a long way since John Lederer became the first European to document his discoveries west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today we set our eyes on space. Come learn about recent discoveries and how we can all play a role in protecting our night skies.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Sky Walking

7:00 p.m.
Byrd Visitor Center auditorium, 45 minutes
Want to know what it’s like to journey above our planet? Four-time space traveler Tom Jones will take you on a virtual trip, from a rumbling blast-off before you soar into orbit, take a spacewalk at the International Space Station, endure a fiery re-entry and return to Earth. Event sponsored by Delaware North Companies.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Evening Ranger Talk: Howls and Owls

7:30 p.m.
Mathews Arm Campground Amphitheater, 45 minutes
Join a Ranger to learn about things that hoot, howl, and go bump in the night at Shenandoah National Park.
Wheelchair accessible.

Shenandoah Sky and the Perseids

8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Byrd Visitor Center auditorium, 45 minutes
As NASA Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern explains: half the park is after dark! Learn how you can see our own Milky Way galaxy at Shenandoah National Park, and how to view the 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower. Event sponsored by Delaware North Companies.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Loft Mountain Evening Program: Owls: Efficient Winged Predators

8:30 p.m.
Loft Mountain Amphitheater, 45 minutes
There are some amazing nocturnal hunters in the park! Discover how the Park manages resources and habitats on which these birds rely.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Under the Stars

9:00 p.m.
Rapidan Fire Road parking lot, across from Byrd Visitor Center
Join Rangers anytime between 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. for stargazing and constellation tours.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.
 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Ranger’s Choice Talk

11:00 a.m.
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, 20-30 minutes
Find out how dark skies are important to Shenandoah National Park.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Migration Headache

3:00 p.m.
Meet outside Byrd Visitor Center
Take on the identity of a specific bird and follow it through its migration journey. Will you make it home? Come by anytime between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to play this interactive game.
Assisted listening device available upon request.

Big Meadows Evening Program: Meteor Showers: Hot and Cold

8:30 p.m.
Big Meadows Amphitheater, in the picnic grounds, 45 minutes

Find out what NASA missions have learned about the origins of meteor showers and the best ways to view these sky-streaking shows with NASA Solar System Ambassador Kristin Hendershot.
Wheelchair accessible, assisted listening device available upon request.

Under the Stars

9:00 p.m.
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, 1.5 hours
Join Rangers with for stargazing and constellation tours.

Stargazing and Meteor Watching

9:30 p.m.
Rapidan Fire Road parking lot, across from Byrd Visitor Center

Join amateur astronomers to watch the stars and Perseid Meteor Shower. Bring lawn chairs, blankets & dress for cool summer nights. Event sponsored by Delaware North Companies. Program will be canceled if weather is inclement. Call (540) 999-2222 on the day of the event to check status.
 

Can't wait? Learn more about Shenandoah at night from home...

 

Spot the Station from Shenandoah

Last updated: July 19, 2018

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Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835

Phone:

(540) 999-3500

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