Lassen park teams with NASA for weekend’s Dark Sky Festival

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014 - 10:15 pm

Stand by for the 2014 Dark Sky Festival, a three-day-and-night event with activities that include NASA scientists at Lassen Volcanic National Park.

During the day from Friday through Sunday, visitors can view the sun safely through special solar telescopes, said Darlene M. Koontz, park superintendent. Other activities will include solar system hikes, special junior ranger astronomy workshops and demonstrations by astronomy educators.

It’s a chance to learn about the field of astrobiology directly from NASA scientists, Koontz said.

When the sun sets, visitors will have the chance to learn about Lassen’s role in protecting naturally dark skies as well as its participation in the search for life on other planets.

Northstate Public Radio host David Schlom and astronomy educator Dave Samuels will deliver evening programs on the night sky at the Manzanita Lake Amphitheater.

Five NASA scientists will be on hand to describe research that ranges from the Mars mission and its rover, Curiosity, to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence by the SETI Institute.

Telescopes will be set up at the Bumpass Hell parking area and in the Manzanita Lake area for public viewing each night of the festival.

For more information, visit the park website at or contact park staff at (530) 595-4480 during business hours.

Read more articles by Jane Braxton Little

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