Night Skies

Thornton Gap Entrance Station Advisory

Due to a fire at the entrance gate, Thornton Gap - one of the park's busiest entrance stations - will be down to one lane. Please plan accordingly.

You may also pre-purchase your park pass online at, which will make the overall entrance station experience go quicker.

Night Skies - Shenandoah National Park

National Parks are becoming a refuge for people from city light pollution. Join amateur astronomers as they present a provocative presentation on controlling light pollution while they point out the heavenly stars.

Held select Fridays at the Big Meadows Area (mile 51, outside the Rapidan Camp Gate). Free to all park visitors. Telescopes will be provided, but participants are recommended to bring their own binoculars as well. A blanket, chair, and flashlight are also recommended.

Presentation is canceled if there is inclement weather. Call 540-999-2222 the day of the event to check on its status.

Upcoming Night Skies Events

 Apr 28   8:15 PM   Venus, Mars, 60% Moon. Late Lyrids (ZHR 18), Eta Aquarids (60). 
 May 12   8:30 PM   Venus, Mars, M44, M13, M57 (Ring Nebula), Eta Aquarids, Eta Lyrids.
 May 26   8:45 PM   Venus, Mars, 44% Moon.
 Jun 9   9:00 PM   Venus, Mars, M44, M13, M57 (Ring Nebula), Milky Way. Tau Herculids (var).
 Jun 23   9:00 PM   Venus, Mars, (Saturn & Moon @ 2am), Bootids (var). 
 Jul 14   9:00 PM   Venus, Mars, Saturn @ 11:20. M44, M13, M57 (Ring Nebula), Milky Way, Pegasids (5). 
 Jul 28   8:45 PM   Mars, Mercury? Alpha Capricornids (5), Milky Way.
 Aug 12   8:30 PM   Mars? Mercury? Saturn @ 9:30, Neptune @ 10:15, PERSEIDS (100), Jupiter @ 12:15, Kappa Cygnids (3).
 Aug 25   8:15 PM  67% Moon, Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter @ 11:30, Uranus, Milky Way. Moon occults Antares?
 Sept 8   8:00 PM  Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter @ 10:30, Epsilon Perseids? (5). 27% Moon @ 1:30.
 Sept 22   7:30 PM   52% Moon, Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter @ 9:30, Uranus, Milky Way.
 Oct 6   7:00 PM   Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter @ 8:30, Uranus, Milky Way, Orionids (23).
 Oct 20   6:45 PM   37% Moon, Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus. Orionids, Epsilon Geminids (2) @ Southern Taurids (5) later.
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