Bryce canyon astronomy festival

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Bryce Canyon
National Park
PO Box 640201
Bryce, Utah 84764
435 834-5322 phone
435 834-4102 fax
Bryce Canyon National Park News Release
June 9, 2011, 11-14
For Immediate Release
Kevin Poe 435-834-4712
Celebrate the 11th Annual Bryce Canyon
Astronomy Festival, June 29 – July 2, 2011
Bryce Canyon National Park invites you to join its “Dark
Rangers” and amateur astronomers from the Salt Lake
Astronomical Society for the 11th Annual Bryce Canyon
Astronomy Festival.
“With its renowned dark skies, astronomy is part of Bryce
Canyon’s appeal for many visitors,” says Park
Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. “People nearby, and
from all over the world, come to experience the stars,
made more brilliant by the exquisite dark sky backdrop.
We hope that many visitors and nearby residents yet to
experience the beauty of our night sky will take advantage
of the special opportunities and programs offered during
the Astronomy Festival.”
This year’s festival will be held Wednesday, June 29
through Saturday, July 2. Ian Cheney, 2011 keynote speaker, will feature his presentation, “The
City Dark.”
With majestic HD time-lapse footage of the night sky, The City
Dark poses questions about the human relationship to the night.
With more than half of the world’s population now living in cities,
and the subsequent growth in lighting, the loss of the night sky
represents a profound shift in perspective—what changes in our
own humanity when the earth grows too bright to see beyond?
And, do we need the dark?
To answer those questions and more, award-winning filmmaker
Ian Cheney toured the globe filming the planet’s best night skies,
as well as locations where the most acute loss of darkness has
occurred. He has interviewed a variety of people who advocate
the protection of darkness for a host of reasons including cancer
prevention, ecological health, and of course, astronomy.
The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.
Join Ian for a behind-the-scenes look into the making of his latest film and for a pre-release
screening of the film’s most stunning photography and interviews of its most entertaining
Ian Cheney’s program will be held on Friday, July 1, from 9:30pm-11:00 pm in Ebenezer’s Barn
and Grill in Bryce Canyon City, Utah, adjacent to the park. Tickets are $2 per person and will be
sold at the door. Following the indoor presentation, free stargazing with telescopes will be
provided outside the building courtesy of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society and the “Dark
Rangers” of Bryce Canyon.
The 2011 Astronomy Festival will also feature model rocket
building and launching workshops led daily by veteran
rocketeer, Joel Allen from Denver, CO. Other afternoon
workshops cover such topics as learning the night sky using
planispheres, learning about our sun and safely viewing it with
solar telescopes, and guided walks along a scale model of
our solar system. In the evenings, join the “Dark Rangers” and
other guest speakers for presentations on topics related to
astronomy and nocturnal animals, before venturing out into the
night to stargaze under Bryce Canyon’s famous dark skies.
Thanks to the Salt Lake Astronomical Society, over 50
telescopes will be available for public viewing of the universe
after the nightly presentations.
Throughout the festival,
the Bryce Canyon
Shuttle will provide free transportation to and from
program venues within the park. Additionally, free
shuttles will travel between Bryce Canyon City to
Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill Arena for those attending Ian
Cheney’ s program on Friday night. Contact the Shuttle
Boarding Area at Ruby’s Inn for information (435-834-
NASA’s Solar System Ambassador, and arguably Utah’s
most famous sky watcher, Patrick Wiggins, proclaims,
“I’ve been to zillions of these star parties, all around the world, and nobody does it like Bryce
Canyon! Not only is it one of the darkest places left on the planet, they make it fun for all ages.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or an astronomy geek to have a blast!”
Concludes Dark Ranger Kevin Poe, “We’ll be
conducting over 100 astronomy programs this year
at Bryce Canyon — every Tuesday, Thursday, and
Saturday night, May through October. But, the
Astronomy Festival is the main event. We hope to
see you there!”
For more information consult the Bryce Canyon
Astronomy Festival Website:
or call 435-834-5322.

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