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Night Sky: Our Solar System
September 1 @ 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm| $10
Timed for when the moon is present in the sky but not fully illuminated, we can enjoy the night sky unimpeded by artificial light or the brightness of a full moon, and see many of the brighter objects that are visible. The moon is especially enjoyable to view through a telescope because features near the terminator (the boundary between the lit and unlit portions of the moon) stand out in particularly high contrast and are easy to discern.
Your evening begins with an interactive discussion at the Visitor Cabin. Topics will include how the ancient people who periodically inhabited the site lived, how they used the unique landscape of the Chimney Rock area to view the sky and what special astronomical events they might have seen. We will also talk about the current night sky and what planets and other objects we hope to see. As sunset approaches, we’ll drive to the High Mesa parking lot where volunteer astronomers await with telescopes to provide a closer look at the wonders of the night sky. While we wait for our eyesight to adjust to the growing darkness, a short talk will explain how telescopes help us to better view night-sky objects and how the different types of telescopes work. Telescopes will focus on different features and the volunteers will change that focus periodically during the viewing time. Even if several telescopes happen to be pointed at the same object, the view will likely be different because of variations in telescope design, eyepieces, aperture, and magnification. Viewing is scheduled to continue until about one hour after maximum darkness or the last guest leaves, whichever is later. Guests may depart from the viewing area whenever they choose. Remember that at this altitude the nights begin to cool rapidly after sunset, so an appropriate jacket or sweater will enable you to keep comfortable while you enjoy the majesty of the night sky at Chimney Rock.
This program is perfect for young families and those with limited mobility. Visitors traveling with their own telescope are encouraged to bring it to the program and share it with others. Reservations strongly recommended. Limited space. Walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Tickets are $12.00 (adults) and $5.00 (children 5-12) plus booking fee, and are non-refundable. In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, rain checks will be available. For details, please call the Visitor Cabin (970-883-5359) 9:00 – 4:30 Mountain Time.
There’s more to learn at Chimney Rock National Monument beyond the daily tours. The interpretive program at Chimney Rock includes opportunities to see the site in a different light and to enjoy the different facets of the site. Ticket fees for special programs are considered a non-refundable donation. Programs often sell out. A booking fee applies to each ticket purchased online or through the call center. Making a reservation through the website or the call center is the only way to guarantee a spot on this tour. Most programs are at full capacity prior to the event but we will accommodate walk-ins if space is available. Booking fees do not apply to walk-ins.
You can book our monthly programs online or by calling 1-877-444-6777.