Death Valley National Park to host Dark Sky Festival in February


DEATH VALLEY, Calif. (KLAS) — If you’re a lover of all things space and the night sky, then we have the perfect event for you! Death Valley National Park will host its Dark Sky Festival from Feb. 21-23.

The festival will offer myriad programs throughout the day, from guided hikes through Death Valley with rangers and scientists during the day to a fair at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center and exploring the search for life and other planets at night.

Several topics will be discussed by scientists, including:

  • Space Scientist Giada Arney: How NASA scientists examine life in extreme environments to help understand limits of life on Earth and where life could be found on other planets
  • SHERLOC Instrument Principal Investigator Luther Beegle: The next stage of Mars exploration, the Mars 2020 mission and the search for evidence of life

Other offerings encompass stargazing with telescopes and night sky photography in prime park locations, with experts on hand to assist.

Provided by National Park Service

Death Valley is one of the best spots for stargazing in the world and was designated a “Gold Tier Dark Sky Park” by the International Dark-Sky Association. This designation is reserved for locations with the highest rating of darkness.

Several organizations are involved, including:

  • Las Vegas Astronomical Society
  • Riverside Astronomical Society
  • Death Valley Natural History Association
  • NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
  • NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • NASA’s Ames Research Center
  • NASA Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence program

Events are free and open to the public, with the exception of the standard $30 park entrance fee per vehicle.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a group and plan a fun excursion where you’ll learn more about all the mysteries our night sky holds.

For more information, head over to the park’s website.

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