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Zion National Park hosts a volunteer astronomer

Published: Thursday, Sept. 12 2013 12:59 p.m. MDT

ZION NATIONAL PARK — This week, Zion National Park welcomed volunteer astronomer Scott Spence to conduct astronomy programs for park visitors.

Spence will be working in the park through Oct. 18. He will conduct informal day and night viewing sessions using solar scopes and telescopes. The sessions will take place at various times and locations throughout the park.

Interested visitors should inquire about these programs at the Zion Visitor Center and Zion Human History Museum. Spence will also be conducting a presentation at the Canyon Community Center in Springdale on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m. The presentation will be followed by telescope viewing outside.

Spence also will work with Zion to complete a lighting inventory of park buildings and facilities. The information will be used to inform park management of further steps that can be taken to protect dark skies in Zion National Park.

Spence is a volunteer representative of the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative. The organization says it is “a geographic region where public lands, tribes, communities, businesses, schools, clubs, and citizens join to support a set of principles resulting in mutual benefits and the long term conservation of our starry night heritage.”

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