Amateur Astronomy Under The Big Sky
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  • Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival Sept. 15-17

    Posted on September 11th, 2017 Lynn Powers No comments

    Dakota-Nights-Poster2SMAS has been supporting the Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival for the past four years.  Held at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora North Dakota, this event packs a lot into the three days!  Year 5 of the event is no exception.   We are proud to partner with our State and National Parks for events.
    This years schedule:

    Daytime Activities – Saturday & Sunday – Sept. 16 & 17, 2017

    9:00am to 4:00pm Discovery Dome Theater
    Immerse yourself in films about outer space, planets, stars, and black holes! Films are shown in the full-dome theater on the hour from 9:00am to 4:00 pm in the South Unit Visitor Center.

    10:00am to 1:00om Kids’ Crafts and Activities
    Join rangers at Chimney Park in Medora for FREE hands-on activities that help kids learn about astronomy.

    11:00am (Saturday only) Eclipse with Lynn Powers
    NASA Solar System Ambassador, Lynn Powers, presents a summary of the August 21st solar eclipse and shows you where, when, and how to see the next one at the Chateau De Mores Interpretive Center in Medora.

    1:00 to 3:00pm Rocket Building and Launching
    Build, paint, and launch a rocket at Chimney Park in Medora. Rocket kits are $10.

    3:00pm Telescope Building
    Build a real, working telescope at Chimney Park in Medora. Then, take your scope home and start exploring the night sky where you live. Kits are $10.

    3:00pm Saving our Night Skies
    NASA Ambassador, Chris Milford, shares his research and findings related to light pollution in North Dakota and his quest to save the darkness of our precious night skies.

    1:00 to 4:00pm Solar Viewing
    Have you ever seen a sunspot? Safely view the sun (and its spots!) through telescopes and by other means at the South Unit Visitor Center.

    Featured Presentations

    7:00pm in the Cottonwood Campground Amphitheater

    Friday – NASA Cassini Mission Crash into Saturn
    For more than 12 years, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has been collecting scientific information and photos of Saturn. Astronomer and NASA Ambassador, Lynn Powers, discusses the Cassini Mission and its grand finale as it crashes into the ringed planet today, September 15, 2017.

    Saturday – The Importance of Darkness
    Learn about the impacts of light pollution on wildlife with a focus on some of night’s most misunderstood creatures-bats! Dr. Paul Barnhart will explain the importance of these unique mammals and how human-created light impacts their behavior and survival.

    Stargazing and Telescopes

    Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 8:00pm
    Peaceful Valley Ranch

    Following the featured presentations each night, join Astronomers and Rangers out under the stars at the Peaceful Valley Ranch. Hear stories, myths, and legends about the stars as you make your way around the telescope field. Bundle up, bring your friends and family, and join us as we gather to marvel at the wonders of the dark night sky.

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