“..My stardust melody – the memory of love’s refrain”

Stardust – Hoagy Carmichael

“…when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars,

and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night…”

Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare


Stargazing has inspired poets and songwriters for quite some time. There is something so relaxing about disconnecting from our busy technology-driven days and absorbing the sights and sounds of nature. Nighttime not only allows us to observe the skies above, but in the absence of light, our other senses (like sound and smell) are enhanced. It is not necessary to be at a campsite to stargaze but the more artificial light surrounds you the harder it is to see the glorious universe above.

Accordingly, the National Park Service provides stargazing programs throughout the year at many of the Parks. We are listing some websites at which you can learn about these particular programs as well as some of the special strategies you will need for your protection.

The International Space Station is visible in the dark sky and the National Park Service has a website devoted to telling you the next time it will be visible where you are and where to look!

For those who are familiar with the constellations (beyond the Big Dipper!) and planets here are the headlines for the coming week:

Sagittarius and Scorpius are visible across the southern skies in moderately dark skies. The largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are at their best this month.

August 19 – Jupiter is at opposition to the sun.

August 20 – The moon, Jupiter and Saturn form a bright triange.

August 21 – Jupiter is visible all night and is very close to the moon.

August 22 – Orion rises in the eastern sky horizon by about 4 am.

August 23 – The brightest star of the constellation Bootes, Arcturus, rises in the west at nightfall.

August 24, - Deneb, the leading light of Cygnus, is in the east-northeast at night and is one of the most distant stars that is easily visible to the unaided eye.

Visiting a planetarium is a thrilling experience and they always have educational programs as well as pure entertainment. If you’re reading this we think you’ll agree that they are no substitute for experiencing the world live and in-person as you …

Remember the Great Outdoors!

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