Celebrate dark skies with telescopes, art, and food!
Sunday, August 12
In the kickoff to its season of day and evening programs, Tumacácori National Historical Park (NHP) will be celebrating its newly designated “Dark Sky Park” status with an event on Sunday, August 12th, from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Tumacácori NHP serves as a role model in the conservation of night skies. “Tumacácori has enjoyed a long history of night sky scholars and enthusiasts visiting the mission,” said park Superintendent, Bob Love. “Native people, astronomers like Father Kino, and settlers and cowboys who may have stopped to camp at the mission, all looked to the sky at night. Our designation as an International Dark Sky Park protects that experience for current and future generations.”
International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)’s recognition program began in 2001 with the designation of Flagstaff, Arizona, as the world’s first International Dark Sky Place, and the first International Dark Sky Community. Awards are made competitively on the basis of a written nomination to IDA, and judged according to merits such as night sky quality and proactive efforts to promote the benefits of natural nighttime darkness.
Sunday’s evening event will take place during the Perseid Meteor Shower, a celestial event that occurs each summer during a dark stage of the moon. Rain or shine, the celebration will feature park scientists, astronomers, dark sky supporters, and volunteers serving up all things night-related. Expect an array of telescopes, binoculars, a hands-on art project, and refreshments like “Perseid’s Punch.” Learn how you can conserve the values of dark night skies at home and in your community, too.
The park closes as usual at 5:00 PM, but will re-open and waive entrance fees from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Visitors should bring a flashlight (with a red filter, if possible), comfortable shoes, and a mat or lawn chair to relax on and enjoy the night sky. For more information, call 520-377-5060 or visit www.nps.gov/tuma.
Photo: NPS Photo/Anu Condon
Event Category: Tumacácori National Historical Park
Event Tags: dark sky park, dark sky party, event, free, free event, International Dark Sky Association, night sky, Tumacácori National Historical Park