Star-gazing programs in southern Utah
Milky way over Cedar Breaks National Monument -- NPS Photo by Zach Schier

Star-gazing travel in Southern Utah

Dark night skies in some areas of the world are a thing of the past, however in Southern Utah, low light pollution creates a perfect environment for star gazing and astro-Tourism. Look to the skies in southern Utah throughout the upcoming year and there will be plenty to gaze upon.

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Monday is for Star-Gazing at The Ashcroft Observatory

The Ashcroft Observatory is open every Monday night to all those interested in learning about constellations or viewing distant parts of the galaxy. Interested parties should plan on arriving at the observatory just as the sun sets. As weather or other conditions might alter this schedule, before driving out, please call Phone: (435) 586-1409 to make sure someone is there.

It's a Star Party at Cedar Breaks National Monument

Due to our high elevation and remote location, Cedar Breaks National Monument is an excellent place to view the night sky. In fact, in 2016 readers of USA Today voted Cedar Breaks as the "Best National Park Night Experience."

Star parties are held every Saturday evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day as well as for special events (such as meteor showers or eclipses) as staffing permits. Start times vary depending on the month Large telescopes will be brought to Point Supreme, the main look out point of the monument.

Summer Solstice at Parowan Gap Petroglyphs Site

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Parowan Gap is nationally recognized due to the number and quality of its petroglyphs. The site is heralded as a kind of "gallery" of exquisite and well-preserved rock carvings. Although there are several theories about the writings, the true meaning of the petroglyphs remains a mystery.

The summer solstice program at Parowan Gap began in 1996 with museum and visitor center volunteers gathering for the chance to learn more about a theorized ancient Native American calendar discovered by archeologists Garth Norman and Nal Morris. Norman and Morris believe The Gap was discovered by ancient people who believed it was a natural calendar system to observe solar, lunar and other astrological events. Furhter, that these observations were etched into the walls of the Gap as petroglyphic symbols to guide current and future people.

Each year at Summer Solstice there's a program at Parowan Gap to celebrate the Solstice and learn and experience the setting sun.

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Photo: Milky way over Cedar Breaks National Monument -- NPS Photo by Zach Schier

February 6, 2017

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