Lunar mania descends! The “Dark Rangers” (astronomy experts) of Bryce Canyon will present cool activities on Monday night. And I do mean pretty cool. Here’s the skinny:
1) Lunar eclipse! Winter Solstice! Full Moon Hike! Star-gazing! All at once! Wow. You would think seeing stars doesn’t go along well with a full moon. Herein read an explanatory quote from an official (Bryce Canyon Ranger Joel Allen): “Full moons are so bright that usually they’re the enemy of stargazing. However, as the moon eclipses, you’ll get the best of both worlds—the romance of a full moon, and the starry splendor of an ultra-dark sky.”
[photo courtesy of leppre/Flickr]
2) Full Moon Hike! The last Full Moon Hike of 2010, this wonderful ranger-led activity will happen starting at 5:30pm. Bring warm clothes (duh), hiking boots, a traction device (I use YakTrax, which keep your feet from skidding out beneath you on slippery surfaces), and no lights. None. You’ll have the full moon, sillies. And believe me, the full moon out here gets Really, Really Bright. Sign up at the Visitors Center ahead of time.
3) Pre-eclipse moon-viewing, 10pm-10:30pm. Using one of their high-powered telescopes, Bryce Canyon’s “Dark Rangers” will show you really neat stuff in our sky.
[photo courtesy of Ryan Wick/Flickr]
4) At 10:30pm, join the rangers for a multi-media program called “All I Want for Solstice is Our Moon to Come Back!”
5) 11:30pm-12:40am, watch the moon “disappear” through telescopes as the Earth’s shadow covers it. Oh, so cool.
Bonus: Free hot apple cider and hot cocoa will be served! Mm-mm. Wish I could make it this year. If someone out there goes, please tell me about it.
[photo courtesy of bhanu.t/Flickr]