Stargazing & Space Stories

A Night Skies Event

Saturday, May 13, 2017
Big Meadows Lodge (mile 51 on Skyline Drive)
7:00 - 10:15 PM


Night Skies - Shenandoah National Park
From dinner and twilight hiking to bedtime space tales - celebrate opening weekend at Big Meadows Lodge with an evening of stargazing and storytelling with astronaut Tom Jones and NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern!

NOTE: Reservations have SOLD OUT for this event, but please check out our other Astronomy Events for this year!

$15 per person includes dinner, milk and cookies, and events detailed below. Reservations are required and space is limited; call 877-847-1919. 

Dinner with Astronaut Tom Jones (7:00 - 9:00 PM)
  • Join astronaut Tom Jones for a Super Nova Spaghetti with Moon Rock Meatballs buffet. After dinner, enjoy a presentation about his space travels and career with NASA, followed by a book signing.
Night Skies Viewing with Greg Redfern (9:00 - 10:00 PM)
  • Drive to Byrd Visitor Center to meet NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern for a hike into the "big meadow" to view Shenandoah's night sky in all it's glory while listening to sky lore and fascinating sky facts.
Bedtime Story & Snack (10:00 - 10:15 PM)
  • Join astronaut Tom Jones in the Great Room at Big Meadows Lodge for a bedtime story about his space travels while enjoying Meteor Milk and Comet Cookies.

Important Disclaimer:

  • Full payment due at booking.
  • Cancellations require 72-hour advance notice for full refund. No refund if less than 72-hours notice given.
  • You will be driving your personal vehicle to the hike location and must present your receipt to the guide (provided upon check-in at the Big Meadows Lodge reservation desk) in order to participate in the hike. Distance covered is less than one mile. No pets allowed.
  • Long pants, sneakers (no open toed shoes), a jacket, and a flashlight are recommended.

Click Tabs to View Presenter Bios:

Astronaut Tom JonesThomas D. Jones, PhD, is a scientist, author, pilot, and veteran NASA astronaut. In more than eleven years with NASA, he flew on four space shuttle missions to Earth orbit. On his last flight, Dr. Jones led three spacewalks to install the centerpiece of the International Space Station, the American Destiny laboratory. He has spent fifty-three days working and living in space.

After graduation from the Air Force Academy, Tom piloted B-52D strategic bombers, earned a doctorate in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona, studied asteroids for NASA, engineered intelligence-gathering systems for the CIA, and helped NASA develop advanced mission concepts to explore the solar system.

Tom is the author of several current space and aviation books: Planetology, (written with Ellen Stofan), Hell Hawks! The Untold Story of the American Fliers Who Savaged Hitler's Wehrmacht (with Robert F. Dorr), and Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir. The Wall Street Journal named Sky Walking one if it’s “Five Best” books on space. His newest title is Ask the Astronaut, published by Smithsonian Books in March 2016.

Dr. Jones' awards include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, four NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Exceptional Service award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Public Service award, Phi Beta Kappa, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and Eagle Scout. The Main Belt asteroid 1082 TomJones is named in his honor.

Tom served on the NASA Advisory Council, and is a board member of the Association of Space Explorers and the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. As a senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, he focuses on the future direction of human space exploration, uses of asteroid and space resources, and planetary defense. He appears frequently on TV and radio with expert commentary on science and space flight.
Greg Redfern

Greg Redfern, Twitter “@SkyGuyinVA”, has been an adjunct professor/instructor of astronomy for five different colleges since 1984. As a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador since 2003, he has shared NASA's missions to the solar system with many audiences in person as well as on Fox 5 WTTG TV, WTOP and WBAL Radio in the Washington D.C. media market. Greg's daily astronomy blog, "What’s Up?: The Space Place.com” has had over 2.5 million views from around the world.

As a writer Greg has authored numerous articles for “Sky and Telescope Magazine”, “Meteorite Magazine”, “Skywatch Magazine” and a number of newspapers including Gannet and USA Today.

Greg has been observing and photographing the sky for over four decades and collecting meteorites for years. He's used telescopes of all kinds and visited observatories, NASA facilities, and geological sites.

His astrophotographs have appeared online in:

  • NASA.gov
  • MSN.com
  • Huffington post.com
  • The Planetary Society
  • Sky and Telescope
  • space.com
  • Universe Today
  • Shenandoah National Park websites
  • WTTG TV
  • WUSA TV
  • WTOP.com
  • Virginia Tourism.org

Cruise ship guests and visitors to Shenandoah National Park have truly enjoyed Greg’s presentations as well as viewing the night sky where he mingles the folklore and science of the stars.

As a result, Greg has brought the wonder, beauty and excitement of our universe to audiences for decades in a one-on-one style that resonates with his passion and knowledge.

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P.O. Box 727, Luray, Virginia 22835 | 877-847-1919