Telescope viewing through one of the giant telescopes, Bandelier Night Sky Fiesta. Courtesy/Bandelier
Bandelier’s Second Annual Night Sky Fiesta is coming up at light speed, Thursday June 2 through Saturday, June 4. There will be solar scopes during daytime, guest speakers, and then giant telescopes in the evenings providing chances to enjoy Bandelier’s very dark skies.
A solar viewing at the Bandelier Visitor Center is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 2. At 8:30 p.m., at the Juniper Campground amphitheater, guest speaker Kara Baker, NASA Near Earth Asteroid Observer, will provide a talk on “Volcanism in Our Solar System”, which will be followed until around 11:30 p.m. by telescope viewing.
Friday, June 3, also will provide solar viewing 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bandelier Visitor Center. At 8:30 p.m. at the Juniper Campground amphitheater there will be another guest speaker (to be announced), followed until around 11:30 p.m. by telescope viewing.
On the Fiesta’s last day, Saturday, June 4, the solar viewing will be longer, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 8:30 p.m. guest speaker is well-known astronomer Fraser Cain, publisher of “Universe Today” and producer of the Astronomy Podcast; he will be speaking on “Golden Age of Astronomy”, followed by telescope viewing until around 11:30p.m.
Visitors arriving at the park between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day need to remember to catch the free shuttles from the county Visitor Center in White Rock. Those coming to the evening programs at Juniper Campground should park in the portion of the amphitheater parking area that is farthest from the amphitheater, since the telescopes will be located in the section closer to the amphitheater.
For more details, contact the Bandelier Visitor Center at 505.672.3861 x 517. For general park information, check the website, www.nps.gov/band, and the park Facebook page, BandelierNPS.