Astronomy Fest At Badlands

Aug 2, 2013

Full moon night sky from top of Cedar Pass
Credit Courtesy Badlands National Park

If all things astronomy is what lights up your skies, the Badlands is the place to be this weekend.

Starting today  Badlands National Park and the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium are hosting South Dakota Space Days 2013. The festival brings together space science professionals, amateur astronomers, educators, and visitors for a three day celebration.

This is the second year of the Badlands Astronomy Festival, says Lead Ranger Alison Shoup. And though the focus is on the night sky, there are many events planned during the day as well.

“We have an instructor coming out from South Dakota State University who will help folks make their own sun dials…tell time…and very durable sun dials that they can keep outside,” says Shoup. “We also have an array of solar telescopes that will be set up to safely allow people to look directly at the sun.” 

Visitors prepare to launch model rockets at Badlands Astronomy Festival 2012
Credit Courtesy Badlands National Park


The festival also includes star gazing, model rocket building and launching and the opportunity to meet a former missileer from the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. 

Nearly thirty-five hundred people attended the Badlands Astronomy Festival last year.

Alison Shoup says with some of the darkest night skies in the National Park system , Badlands National Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience an astronomy festival.