Summer Astronomy Program Begins
Visitors Invited to Experience Glacier’s Day and Night Skies
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park’s summer astronomy program begins July 11 with day and evening ranger-led activities held on the east and west side of the park. Visitors have the opportunity to experience evening telescope viewing of deep space objects like galaxies, star clusters, planets, and nebulae. Dedicated volunteer astronomers will provide interpretive programs such as laser-guided constellation tours.
Evening telescope viewing will be available Wednesday – Sunday at the Apgar Transit Center and daily at the St. Mary Visitor Center from 10:00pm to midnight, weather and sky visibility dependent. The St. Mary Visitor Center is currently screening the documentary “The City Dark” every Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The film highlights the story of light pollution and disappearing night skies.
Solar-viewing opportunities will be available at the Apgar Village Green, 100 yards north of the Apgar Visitor Center, on Wednesday – Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Informal solar-viewing opportunities will also be available at the St. Mary and Logan Pass Visitor Centers, weather permitting. Visitors can safely view sun spots and coronal mass ejections through a hydrogen-alpha filtered telescope.
Dark skies, environments undisturbed by light and air pollution, have natural, cultural, and scenic importance. Glacier National Park is home to some of the darkest skies in the world, providing ideal conditions for viewing opportunities while maintaining critical wildlife and plant habitat for species affected by artificial light. A joint effort between Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and Glacier National Park is being initiated for designation of both parks as an International Dark Sky Park/Preserve so all may experience this vanishing resource.
For more information on the astronomy program, view the ranger-led activities schedule at http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/inforequest/inforequest3.cfm or contact the park at 406-888-7800.