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Death Valley National Park co-hosts stargazing nights

DEATH VALLEY, Calif.—Death Valley National Park and the Las Vegas Astronomical Society (LVAS) will co-host a stargazing opportunity on Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb.1 from 7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

The events will take place at the Furnace Creek Airport near the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Event participants are encouraged to arrive before 7:30 p.m. Carpooling is strongly encouraged due to limited parking. The program will consist of an informative “Tonight’s Sky” tour each night at 8 p.m. to orient participants to what is visible with the naked eye.

The LVAS will point out constellations and explain celestial phenomena in easy to understand language. Participants will have the opportunity to view features of the night sky through high-powered telescopes guided by LVAS members and National Park Service (NPS) park rangers.

Please bring a flashlight and wear closed-toed shoes. Families are welcome.

A daytime component of this event will offer opportunities to view the sun through a solar telescope from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Furnace Creek Ranch on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Most famous as the hottest place on Earth and the lowest, driest place in North America, Death Valley National Park also harbors some of the darkest night skies in the United States.

Death Valley’s natural darkness, along with NPS actions to reduce excessive outdoor lighting and increase astronomy programming, led the International Dark-Sky Association to designate the park as the third and largest International Dark Sky Park in the U.S.

Death Valley National Park rangers offer night sky programs regularly from November through March, and on a limited basis from April through October.

Programs vary from telescope viewing, naked eye astronomy, sky legends and stories to full moon programs and night hikes.

For more information about Death Valley National Park programs, visit www.nps.gov/deva.

The Furnace Creek Airport is reached by exiting California Highway 190 at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center and driving west one-half mile.

For additional information about this event, please contact the park at 760-786-3200 or by emailing deva_information@nps.gov.

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