Tourism: Night Sky Festival and Eclipse at Shenandoah National Park

Celebrate the night sky in Shenandoah National Park by attending the Second Annual Night Sky Festival. Join in the fun Friday, August 18, through Monday, August 21, at various locations along Skyline Drive:

– Guest presentations by astronomy experts
– Ranger programs
– Constellation tours
– Solar scope viewing
– Telescope viewing
– Junior Ranger programs
– Audio-visual presentations
– Hands-on activities

The weekend will culminate on Monday, August 21, with the 2017 solar eclipse that will cross the continental United States, the first since 1979. While Shenandoah National Park will only experience 80-85% coverage of the sun at approximately 2:40 pm, and will not experience a total eclipse, it is still a great place to join a Ranger to learn about why a solar eclipse happens, what to expect, and how to view it safely. Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6) AND Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51)

Below are workshops and events available throughout the weekend:

Friday, August 18th at 4:00 pm
James Webb Space Telescope: NASA’s Successor to Hubble Space Telescope

Join NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern for this engaging presentation about the 2018 space telescope successor to Hubble Space Telescope. Get up close and personal with the latest pictures and information direct from NASA. Byrd Visitor Center Auditorium (mile 51), 45 minutes

Saturday, August 19th at 5:00 pm
Evening Ranger Talk: The Last Frontier
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. Dickey Ridge Visitor Center auditorium (mile 4.6), 45 minutes

Saturday, August 19th at 8:30 pm
Big Meadows Evening Program: The Lives of Stars
Join NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern for this engaging presentation about how the stars, including our Sun, shine. Explore how stars are born, live, and ultimately, die. You’ll never look at the stars the same after you learn their secrets. Dress for cool mountain nights. Big Meadows Amphitheater, in the picnic grounds (mile 51), 45 minutes, [Rain location: Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51]

Sunday, August 20th at 8:30 pm
Big Meadows Evening Program: Stories in the Stars
Discover the value of preserving dark skies as you take a constellation tour highlighting stories with some surprising modern connections. Dress for cool mountain nights. Big Meadows Amphitheater, in the picnic grounds (mile 51), 45 minutes

Stargazing
Friday, August 18th and Saturday, August 19th at 9:30 pm
Under the Stars at Shenandoah National Park
Join us for stargazing and constellation tours. Meet inside Rapidan Fire Road gate (mile 51), 1 hour

Sunday, August 20th at 9:30 pm
Under the Stars at Shenandoah National Park
Join us for stargazing and constellation tours. Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6), 1 hour

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