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Celebrating dark skies

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The Annual Dark Sky Festival takes place this year from August 17-20, 2017. It is a celebration of the return of dark skies to the northern latitude 60°N and is hosted by the Thebacha and Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society during the third weekend of August. Festival activities take place in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, in the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve, Wood Buffalo National Park. It’s the first publicly- accessible rolling-roof observatory north of 60.

The Dark Sky Festival is not just for gazing at stars. For kids, there is the Circus of Science and the Science Academy events which include a model rocket making session. As well, fun and interactive science activities include Stellar Seminars and other practical workshops such as remote drone assembly and instructions, a rocket launch, drone races, Fireside Chat, Wood Buffalo National Park nature excursion: “Impact of light pollution on Nocturnal critters,” a Glow Stick Jamboree, Telescope viewing, constellation identification and more. Lee Johnson, avid astronomer and published author, will host workshops at the festival.

To best manage the logistics of the festival activities and the capacity at the Pine Lake Dark Sky Observing Site, there is a 125-person maximum registration limit.

Important dates to keep in mind are June 21, 2017: Last day for “Early-Bird” registration and August 15, 2017: Last day to register.