‘Southwest Astronomy Festival’ aims to turn eyes to the sky

National Park Service photo shows the importance of dark skies, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Zach Schierl, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH — The first “Southwest Astronomy Festival” will be taking place Friday and Saturday throughout southwestern Utah and beyond at various times and locations, including Cedar City, St. George, Springdale, Ivins, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Zion National Park, Red Cliffs Desert Reserve visitor center and Pipe Springs National Monument.

Utah has more International Dark Sky locations than any other state, province or region in the world and now is the time to celebrate. The National Park Service invites guests to join a regional celebration of astronomy and the region’s glittering dark skies.

 Activities are open to the public and most are free; however, some have limited seating or registration may be required. A detailed schedule of Southwest Astronomy Festival activities and locations can be found here.

These events are sponsored by Cedar Breaks National Monument and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, along with the support of the Southern Utah Space Foundation, the St. George Astronomy Group and many other participating organizations.

Flyer for Southwest Astronomy Festival activity held at the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve | Image courtesy of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, St. George News


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  • RedRocks September 21, 2017 at 5:13 am

    This would be even better if St George would start taking strides and making an effort to bringing back darker skies. I think it just keeps getting worse. And they make it harder for cities, like Ivins, who are trying to maintain reasonably dark skies. We have fantastic weather for star gazing but the light pollution is getting bad.

    • Badshitzoo September 21, 2017 at 11:19 am

      When I was in college my Astronomy class went to the park on Diagonal St. I live out in Sunriver now which would be great, but every single house has outside lights that turn on automatically at dusk. It’s sad on many levels.

  • John September 21, 2017 at 8:03 am

    I agree — the local night sky has deteriorated substantially since we moved here 11 years ago. To their credit Ivins is trying with good lighting ordnances, but my impression is that Santa Clara officials couldn’t care less. I don’t know about St. George itself. The irony is that efficient lighting also saves money.

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