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

Astronomy Ranger at TRNP

MEDORA, ND: Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora invite curious minds of all ages to spend an early autumn weekend exploring our wondrous universe. Park rangers, astronomers, and space enthusiasts of all types will gather for the Third Annual Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival Friday, September 11 through Sunday, September 13.

This year’s special guest speakers will touch on a wide variety of topics. Dr. Craig Howe, a Lakota scholar and enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe will speak on Friday evening about winter counts and how they record Lakota history. On Saturday evening, explore our connections with the universe with Dave Weinrich, retired planetarium coordinator at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Other speakers include Park Ranger-Astronomers Erik Jensen, Kate and Jeff Zylland.

“People have been studying the night skies for millennia,” said Chief of Interpretation Eileen Andes. “Dakota Nights celebrates the beauty and fragility of this awe-inspiring resource and makes it accessible and fun for people of all ages. You don’t have to be an astronomy expert; the festival has something for everyone.”

Daytime activities include model rocket building and launching, a “build your own telescope” workshop, “sun gazing,” solar system hikes, family astronomy activities, and presentations in Dickinson State University’s Discovery Dome. Evening events will reveal the mysteries of the universe while star gazing in a field of more than a dozen telescopes manned by astronomers and park rangers.

The Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival is a partnership between Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora. “Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival would not be possible without our partners and the many volunteers who join us in celebrating the night sky,” said Andes. Partners include Medora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Medora Chamber of Commerce, Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association, Friends of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Dickinson State University, Chateau De Mores State Historic Site, North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, Badlands Ministries, and Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.

A complete listing of all activities and an event map are available on the park’s website at www.nsp.gov/thro.

Contact:
Eileen Andes
eileen_andes@nps.gov
701-623-4466

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
P.O. Box 7
Medora, ND 58645
701-623-4466
www.nps.gov/thro
www.nps.gov

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
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