Jason Bath
Stargazers will have their due this weekend as Great Basin National Park hosts its eighth annual Astronomy Festival.


The Great Basin National Park hosts its eighth annual Astronomy Festival in Baker from Sept 21-23. On a clear, moonless night in Great Basin National Park, thousands of stars, five of our solar system’s eight planets, star clusters, meteors, man-made satellites, the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye.

The Festival will bring three days and three nights of astronomy activities for all ages.  Great Basin National Park is an International Dark Sky Park, as certified by the International Dark Sky Association, and features some of the darkest night skies in the country.

Volunteers will be on hand with telescopes of different sizes all three nights. Visitors can get a guided tour to look at planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and other deep sky objects. Telescope viewing begins each night at 7:30 p.m. They will  also have a nightly constellation tour to share stories of the sky.

The highly anticipated ranger talent show will kick off evening events on Thursday, Sept. 21. Friday evening, Tony Berendsen of Tahoe Star Tours will share a discussion about the awareness of our place in the cosmos, featuring some of his astro-poetry. Saturday, will be the final evening, which will highlight Trent Griffith of the Ely Shoshone tribe.

Trent will discuss Shoshone astronomy through stories and song. Each of these evening events will be at 6:30 p.m. on the back patio of the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.