3rd Annual Night Sky Festival

NOTE: 2018 Night Sky Festival details are pending, but check out our 2017 details below for an idea of what to expect next year!

August, 2018

Activities take place in a variety of locations throughout Shenandoah National Park.

Little Stony Man Night Sky - Shenandoah National Park

Celebrate the valuable resource of dark skies through guest presentations by astronomy experts, NPS Ranger Programs, and viewing the captivating night skies Shenandoah National Park protects.

The festival will include constellation tours, solar scope viewing, telescope viewing, Junior Ranger programs, audio-visual presentations, hands-on activities, and will culminate in viewing the 2017 Solar Eclipse!

Night Sky Junior Ranger Explorer books are available for free throughout the weekend and can be picked up at Park visitor centers.

Stay at Big Meadows Lodge (mile 51) or Skyland (mile 41.7 & 42.5) for convenient, in-park lodging closest to the activities! But, book now, because rooms fill fast.

Book Your Shenandoah Reservation Today Big Meadows Lodge

Book Your Shenandoah Reservation Today Skyland

For a complete schedule of events and full festival details, visit the NPS website.

Click Tab to view featured events:

Friday, August 18
4:00 PM
James Webb Space Telescope: NASA's Successor to Hubble Space Telescope
(Byrd Visitor Center Auditorium (mile 51), 45 minutes)
Join NASA JPL 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.

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

Saturday, August 19
5:00 PM
Evening Ranger Talk: The Last Frontier
(Dickey Ridge Visitor Center auditorium (mile 4.6), 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.

Saturday, August 19
8:30 PM
Big Meadows Evening Program: The Lives of Stars
(Big Meadows Amphitheater, in the picnic grounds (mile 51), 45 minutes)
[Rain location: Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51]

Join NASA JPL 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.

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

Sunday, August 20
8:30 PM
Big Meadows Evening Program: Stories in the Stars
(Big Meadows Amphitheater, in the picnic grounds (mile 51), 45 minutes)
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.

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

Monday, August 21
The Solar Eclipse
(Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6) & Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51))
On August 21st, 2017, a solar eclipse will cross the continental United States. This event last happened in 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.

fresh autumn air and stunning fall foliage views
Craft Beer Dinners
Thurs, Oct 5 & 12, 2017
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