Night Star Festival – Celebrate Fall Equinox with a Star Party at Joshua Tree National Park, September 21, 2019.
This year’s Night Star Festival Star Party will include at least 20 Telescopes, Music, Constellation Tours and Sky Stories.
Daytime activities include astronomy lectures, photo booth, educational tables and youth crafts, along with solar viewing, nature walks, and tours of the model solar system (the “orrery”) at Sky’s the Limit.
Joshua Tree National Park is proud to have recently been designated as an International Dark Sky Park at the Silver Tier level by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).
The night sky is a glittering dome peppered with stars, planets, and passing meteors—but most people no longer get to see it. In urban and suburban settings, artificial lighting and atmospheric pollutants wash out the light of the stars. This is a serious loss. For millennia, our ancestors experienced a dark night sky. Cultures around the world told stories about the constellations and used the stars as a calendar. Only for the past few generations have humans been denied the chance to stand in awe of the heavens. Boasting some of the darkest nights in Southern California, Joshua Tree National Park offers many visitors the chance to admire the Milky Way for the first time in their lives.
On a clear, moonless night, you should have no problem viewing the stars from anywhere in the park. However, light pollution from surrounding communities does impact Joshua Tree’s night skies, so some areas of the park are darker than others.
The park strives to be a refuge for those who want to experience a naturally dark night sky.