2016 EVENT DATES:
Thursday, September 28 - Saturday, October 1
Astronomy aficionados’ wildest dreams will come true by visiting The Great Basin Astronomy Festival. Held in September of each year at the Lehman Caves Visitor’s Center in Great Basin National Park, you’ll quickly understand the parks’ mantra after sunset where you too can appreciate “Half the Park After Dark.”
On a clear night [which quite honestly are the vast majority of the time,] visitors can see thousands of stars, multiple galaxies, five different planets and man-made satellites with the naked eye. Best yet, Great Basin prides itself in having some of the best air quality in the nation, which translates to crystal clear daytime skies and unfathomably dark night skies.
While many families and outdoor enthusiasts come from all over the United States to experience what Travel and Leisure rates as one of the best locations in North America for stargazing. In addition to the countless other activities to enjoy within the park, make a long weekend out of this three-day festival and enjoy the carefully planned schedule of events.
While exact schedules vary year to year, the typical astronomy festival showcases solar telescope viewing [you might be lucky in viewing a solar flare,] solar bracelet making, night sky photography workshops, astronomy 101 presentations, and a kids program where children will receive a deep space observing certificate. Also, each night festival participants will enjoy a stargazing session with astronomers from all over the country, who’ve transported millions of dollars telescopes to enhance your stargazing experience. Identifying constellations, planets, nebulas, galaxies and more, these expert astronomers will personally identify and explain they’ve zeroed in on. To cap off the entire experience, a distinguished keynote speaker concludes the festival with a tantalizing lecture of their choice. Best yet, the entire festival is free of charge!
The Astronomy Festival is a great reason to visit the wondrous Great Basin National Park, but is merely a launching point for the numerous activities to experience within park boundaries. An ideal place for hiking, camping and high adventure activities, you can stay within Great Basin National Park at one of the many campsites. Explore Nevada’s second tallest mountain at Wheeler Peak, along with the 800 species of plants and 61 species of mammals that call the park home. Or, you can travel down the Loneliest Road and visit nearby Ely, with lakes, state parks, several hotels, and even nearby garnet hunting.
A complete no-brainer, make this one a definite must on your September agenda!