Look Up: A Dark Sky Fest to Sparkle Among the Sequoias

Enchanted by the James Webb Space Telescope images? Here's a unique chance to commune with the cosmos.

Scott Heaney

What to Know

  • Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
  • Astronomy-centered activities, talks, and cosmic wonder

THE MILKY WAY? We can't say that our home galaxy has ever felt especially cozy and snug, especially since a hundred thousand light years, or more, is a common but astounding amount that arises when discussing the Milky Way's diameter. But it feels slightly cozier, in a way, since the world is now beholding the jaw-dropping images from the James Webb Space Telescope. The distant galaxies so prettily pictured are filling our terrestrial heads with wonder and amazement, and the longing to commune with the night sky feels especially keen.

WE CAN DO SO... on any cloudless evening, of course, but locating a celebration centered on an especially dark sky can be a quicker route to communing, or at least one that is built for upping the general state of our galactic gladness. Good news: California is home to a few dark sky festivals, the sorts of celebrations that take place in truly low-lit locations. And this is sweet: A fabulous festivity headed for the big trees.

Sequoia Parks Conservancy

THE 2022 DARK SKY FESTIVAL... will shimmer on the first Saturday of autumn at the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Mechanical and aerospace engineer Kate Gunderson is the keynote speaker, and astronomically awesome activities will engage visitors in a multitude of ways. (Perhaps not as many ways as there are stars in the sky, but the knowledge-cool to-dos will be plentiful.) The date is Sept. 24, 2022, and you can find out more by checking in with the Sequoia Parks Conservancy. And if this September sequoia star-tacular has you looking for more cosmic confabs, gaze up the Panamint Valley, near Death Valley National Park, where the California Dark Sky Festival will coincide with the Orionids Meteor Shower in late October.

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