Astronomy in the Parks
Members of the Magic Valley Astronomical Society hosted a public star party at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho. (Photo Credit: Forrest Ray)

Night Sky Network astronomy club members can often be found sharing views of dark night skies in parks across the country. Whether you are camping or just stopping by, parks are a great place to take in the wonder of the heavens. The absence of light pollution and the open space available combine to create an ideal atmosphere for stargazing.

Here are a few stargazing events from the many held at state and national parks every year:

Idaho Falls Astronomical Society tells us, "Located in the sagebrush steppe of Eastern Idaho, the Craters of the Moon National Monument features extremely dark skies. Dozens of scopes are shared with the public at this event. Not only was there great weather for this event, the night's sky was graced with a lingering aurora that danced above the northern horizon. The crisp night air was filled with the "oohs" and "aahs" at the eyepiece throughout the night."

In Copper Breaks State Park, Texas, The Quahadi Society, Inc. reports, "Night Sky Network materials kept the audience interested and informed even though the skies were not cooperating. Visitors participated in a hilarious recreation of the distances between galaxies and other deep space objects using star maps and measuring tape."

At Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, the Salt Lake Astronomical Society fielded questions about Pluto. "This was the same day that Pluto was declared a non-planet. Everyone wanted to discuss why it was no longer classified a planet and what did I think about it. Beautiful night skies. A fellow from Germany, looking up at the sky in the parking lot with our telescopes, wanted to know what the Milky Way was. He wondered if they were clouds. Most of Europe cannot see the Milky Way anymore."

So call ahead and find out about astronomy programs at your nearby State or National Park and head out to where the skies are dark and the stars are bright. Plan a trip to enjoy the night skies with Night Sky Networrk member clubs.

Want to learn more about the Night Sky Network? Night Sky Network (NSN) member asronomy clubs are dedicated to bringing the wonders of space and NASA science to folks across the USA via public outreach.The NSN program provides these clubs with tools and educational resources to help them in their service. Find a member club near you using our club map, and check out astronomy events near you with our events page.  We wish you clear skies!

Last Updated: September 29, 2006
Logo for Night Sky Network featuring child and astronomer observing the skyNight Sky Network members bring astronomy to the public!  Find clubs and events near you on the NSN locator page.

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