Exploring The Skies

Our Exploring the Skies programs have concluded for the 2022 season. Check back soon for 2023 details!

Milky Way Over Big Meadow in Shenandoah National Park

Amateur astronomer, Frank Perfetti, will share with you not only his love for astronomy but also for aviation, which he did as a volunteer at the National Air and Space Museum in D.C. manning a Discovery Station. In his 52 years of flying – 36 of it professionally – he has been witness to some amazing beauty and grandeur flying over the country looking out those big windows forward on the flight deck.

In the event of inclement weather, a video presentation featuring amazing night sky images Frank has taken over the years will be held in the Massanutten Room at Big Meadows Lodge. Seating is limited to 35 people. Social distancing guidelines will be followed. Face mask required to attend presentation.

  • Meet in the Big Meadows Lodge parking lot.
  • If inclement weather, meet in the Massanutten Room located in main lodge.
  • iPhone and iPad users can download the Unistellar app to connect direct to the telescope.
  • A flashlight is necessary and a jacket is recommended.
  • Recommended that you also bring a chair and binoculars.
  • Current CDC guidelines will be followed which may include face masks required and social distancing. No one permitted if feeling ill or elevated temperature.

Frank was born in Lexington, VA and fell in love with the mountains at a very early age. Looking at the dark night sky and all the stars kindled an awe of their beauty and mystery. His parents bought his first telescope for Christmas one year when he was 14, a little 3-inch reflector and that reinforced his interest. At the age of 15 Frank started taking flying lessons which eventually turned into a very successful 36-year career as an airline pilot. During that time, he was and is a great lover of the national parks and the mountains visiting quite a few of them in his travels. He took a few college courses in Astronomy and Astrophysics and a lot of independent studying to learn about our universe. He was a great follower of our space program, watched all the launches of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions and always got the latest Life magazine as soon as it published pictures of the missions.

Frank has fallen in love with the beauty of our world, its wonder, its grandeur, its incredible power. He looks forward to sharing this with visitors to Shenandoah National Park and also looks forward to working in one of our great and beautiful places.

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