Stargazing in Shenandoah National Park

“The crisp, clear Blue Ridge Mountains air in Shenandoah National Park makes everything brighter in the night sky. Stars sparkle with more intensity, and constellations come into clearer view….National Parks are becoming a refuge for people from city light pollution. Join amateur astronomers as they present a provocative presentation on controlling light pollution as you gaze at the heavenly stars through telescopes.”

Picture this setting: The air is clear and cool, cicadas hum somewhere in the darkness, and the dark blue night sky stretches out above you, peppered with stars and streaming with the cloudy lines of the Milky Way. If you’ve never experienced the sights and sounds of a night underneath Virginia’s sky, then you are definitely missing out! But luckily for you, there is an upcoming event that can remedy that—Shenandoah Stargazing.

On July 17, August 7, and September 18, visitors of Shenandoah National Park are invited to join others at the Big Meadows Area (inside the Rapidan Camp Gate at mile 51) for a free night sky presentation. Your visit will have you observing Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, galaxies, the Milky Way, and more all under the guidance and instruction of Greg Redfern, a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador and professor of astronomy.

A couple of tips before your visit: Be sure to bring a jacket, flashlight and blanket (you may not need them, but better safe than sorry). Also, the presentations are dependent on good weather, so on the day of the event, call 540-999-2222 to check the presentation status. Finally, don’t forget to reserve your lodging at a Shenandoah Valley bed & breakfast!