Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Experience Once-in-a-Lifetime Solar Eclipse, Solstices and Star Gazing in Southern Utah

June 14, 2010, 12:34 pm
Dark night skies in some areas of the world are a thing of the past, however in Southern Utah, low light pollution creates a perfect environment for astro-tourism. Get a close-up look at the cosmos each Monday at Southern Utah Univeristy’s Ashcroft Observatory, located on the hilltop just south of the SUU Farm on Westview Drive (Hwy 56 W to Westview Drive). The observatory is open from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Interested parties should plan on arriving at the observatory just as the sun sets. For more information and time call (435) 586-1409. “Star Parties” will be held at natural red rock wonder Cedar Breaks National Monument from June through September 2010. Large telescopes will be brought to Point Supreme, the main lookout point of the monument. The Star Parties are free with entrance to Cedar Breaks. The dates for the Star Parties will be: July 8, 10, 12 August 7, 9, 11 September 6, 8, 10 Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Parowan Gap is nationally recognized due to the number and quality of its petroglyphs. Archaeoastronomy researcher Nowell L. “Nal” Morris and archeologist Garth Norman believe “the Gap” to be a natural solar and lunar calendar system with outcroppings and shadow markers. They believe that the Parowan Gap is a one of a kind phenomenon, even more unique than Stonehenge, because it is a naturally formed structure rather than man made. A series of rock cairns provide alignment for sky watchers to witness the solstice sunsets directly between the “Gap.” Solstice events are free to the public. Celebrate Summer Solstice, June 19, 7 p.m. at the Parowan Gap. Celebrate Winter Solstice (weather permitting) will be Dec 18.