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Contact: Eileen Andes, 701-623-4466
Theodore Roosevelt National Park invites curious minds of all ages to spend a crisp autumn weekend exploring our universe. Astronomers, park rangers, historians, and explorers of all kinds will gather for the first Dakota Nights: An Astronomy Festival Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29.
"Dark skies are a rapidly vanishing resource in the United States," said Superintendent Valerie Naylor."Many people don't have the opportunity to see stars because of light pollution from cities and other development.We are very excited to bring together world-class astronomers, educators, and scientists for this special event."
Special guest speakers include American Indian historian Dakota Goodhouse, former astronaut and North Dakota native Rick Hieb, and Kevin "The Dark-Ranger" Poe from Bryce Canyon National Park. Friday and Saturday evenings will be spent stargazing with 10 telescopes while astronomers and park rangers offer accompanying "Constellation Tours."
Rocket building and launching will take place at Chimney Park in Medora on both Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m.Model rockets costing between $10 and $30 will be available for purchase.
Dickinson State University's "Discovery Dome," with a full slate of events, will be at the DeMores School.Solar System Hikes round out the full weekend schedule.There is no charge to attend the festival and admission to Theodore Roosevelt National Park will be waived on Saturday, September 28 in celebration of National Public Lands Day.
This event is made possible with generous assistance from the Medora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Medora Chamber of Commerce, Theodore Roosevelt Nature & History Association, Dickinson State University, The Friends of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park.
For more information and the full Dakota Nights schedule, please visit the festival website at www.nps.gov/thro/naturescience/dakota-nights.htm.