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Turn your heads to the heavens, NPS offers

 


The National Park Service will be offering free astronomy tours both at night and during the day throughout the summer.

Nighttime stargazing tours will be held on July 5 from 9 p.m. to midnight in the Crescent Bay Area, July 6, from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Spring Canyon Day Use Area, Aug. 2 from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Crescent Bay Area, and Aug. 3 from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Spring Canyon Day Use Area.

“Our nation’s national and state parks are some of the few places left where the night sky isn’t obscured by light pollution,” a flier from NPS reads. “The Grand Coulee Dam area has some spectacular views of the night, and daytime, sky! Drop in anytime! Smoke or clouds may clear away, programs will only be canceled if it is raining, conditions are dangerous or it is just plain socked in.”

Local astronomers and National Park Service “sky rangers” will be on hand to help people learn how to find their way around the night sky, take a constellation tour, view a planet, or wave to the International Space Station or a satellite as they pass overhead.

“We have everything you need to look up,” the NPS says, “but you are welcome to bring your own telescopes, spotting scopes, or binoculars plus bug spray, a light jacket, and chairs or blankets to stay comfy.”

The night time isn’t the only time you can appreciate the stars. The sun is the nearest star to earth. Daytime astronomy tours using solar telescopes will be held from 2-3 p.m. on several days: July 5-6 at Spring Canyon Day Use Area, on Aug. 2 at the Grand Coulee Library, and on Aug. 3 again at Spring Canyon Day Use Area.

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