Dakota Nights: Second Annual Astronomy Festival to Be Held at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora

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This blog is courtesy of our friends at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The second annual Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival will be held September 19-21, 2014 in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and throughout the City of Historic Medora. Guest speakers include aurora borealis expert Dr. Joe Shaw, Hubble Space Telescope scientist and Mercury mission planner Mark “Indy” Kochte, and Kevin “the Dark Ranger” Poe from Bryce Canyon National Park. Daytime activities include model rocket building and launching, programs inside Dickinson State University’s Discovery Dome, solar viewing, solar system hikes, and hands-on activities. Evening stargazing with a field of telescopes manned by park rangers and astronomers will take place at Peaceful Valley Ranch. The full schedule of events is available for download at www.nps.gov

What: Dakota Nights: Second Annual Astronomy Festival

Where: Sites in Theodore Roosevelt National Park: South Unit Visitor Center, Cottonwood Campground, Peaceful Valley Ranch. Sites in Historic Medora: DeMores Park, Chimney Park, DeMores School, Medora Community Center.

When: September 19 – 21, 2014

Images: Children launching model rockets, park rangers leading astronomy oriented activities, presentations by special guests

Interviews: Interviewees include park staff, aurora borealis expert Dr. Joe Shaw, NASA Scientist Mark “Indy” Kochte, various astronomers

For more information contact Eileen Andes at 701-623-4466 or eileen_andes@nps.gov


Schedule of Events

Friday, September 19, 2014

7:00 PM – Dr. Joe Shaw and “The Northern Lights” (Cottonwood Campground Amphitheater)

8:00 PM – Telescopes and Constellation Tours (Peaceful Valley Ranch)

9:00 AM – Secrets of the Cardboard Rocket (Discovery Dome Theater)

10:00 AM – One Earth, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure (Discovery Dome Theater)

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Build Your Own Rocket, Launching to follow (Fee) (Chimney Park)

11:00 AM – Saturn: The Ring World (Discovery Dome Theater)

12:00 PM – We Choose Space (Discovery Dome Theater)

1:00 PM – One Earth, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure (Discovery Dome Theater)

1:00 PM – Solar System Hike (de Mores Park)

1:00 – 4:00 PM – Celebrate Our Closest Star! Activities and Solar Viewing (de Mores Park)

2:00 PM – Astronomy 101 with Kate Zylland (South Unit Visitor Center)

2:00 PM – Secrets of the Cardboard Rocket (Discovery Dome Theater)

3:00 PM – Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope (Discovery Dome Theater)

3:30 PM – Kevin “the Dark Ranger” Poe presenting “Constellation Contemplation” (South Unit Visitor Center Theater)

4:00 PM – Black Holes (Discovery Dome Theater)

5:00 PM – IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System (Discovery Dome Theater)

7:00 PM – Mercury Mission Planner Mark Indy Kochte (Cottonwood Campground Amphitheater)

8:00 PM – Telescopes and Constellation Tours (Peaceful Valley Ranch)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

9:00 AM – Secrets of the Cardboard Rocket (Discovery Dome Theater)

10:00 AM – One Earth, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure (Discovery Dome Theater)

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Build Your Own Rocket, Launching to follow (Fee) (Chimney Park)

11:00 AM – Saturn: The Ring World (Discovery Dome Theater)

12:00 PM – We Choose Space (Discovery Dome Theater)

1:00 PM – One Earth, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure (Discovery Dome Theater)

1:00 – 3:00 PM – Build a Real Telescope! (Fee) (Medora Community Center)

2:00 PM – Night Sky Time-lapse Photography with Mark Indy Kochte (South Unit Visitor Center Theater)

2:00 PM – Secrets of the Cardboard Rocket (Discovery Dome Theater)

3:00 PM – Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope (Discovery Dome Theater)

3:30 PM – Kevin the Dark Ranger Poe and “The Distance Ladder” (South Unit Visitor Center Theater)

4:00 PM – Black Holes (Discovery Dome Theater)

5:00 PM – IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System (Discovery Dome Theater)

7:00 PM – Darkness Illuminates Our Lives with Jeff Zylland (Cottonwood Campground Amphitheater)

8:00 PM – Time-lapse Photography Workshop with Mark Indy Kochte (Peaceful Valley Ranch) (We recommend bringing your own camera. Extra equipment will not be provided.)

8:00 PM – Telescopes and Constellation Tours (Peaceful Valley Ranch)

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