Harmony Dark Sky Festival and Star Party

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January 13
4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
included with general admission, free to members

Learn about the night sky with astronomers, meet animals who survive in the dark, and enjoy a special astronomy inspired carillon concert. Darkness not only adds to the aesthetic qualities of the wildness, but is important to the health of wildlife. As most of the world is faced with the effects of artificial light pollution, the Dark Sky Festival aims to educate citizens about the importance and magic of natural darkness. Learn how you can make the darkness enjoyable and safe for all Earth’s inhabitants.

According the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), more than 80% of the world’s population lives under light polluted skies and 99% of Americans are experiencing the harmful effects of artificial “skyglow.” Darkness not only adds to the aesthetic qualities of the wildness but it also is important to the health of wildlife and humans.

Central Florida is listed as one of the world’s hot spots for artificial light pollution and the HARMONY Dark Sky Festival & Star Party aims to educate visitors about the natural importance of darkness and how controlling light pollution is vital for all of Earth’s inhabitants. In anticipation of the festival, the level of artificial light above Bok Tower Gardens was measured by an IDA representative and was found to be only three points higher than the darkest point on the globe and the Milky Way was visible to the naked eye.

The event is proudly sponsored in part by Harmony Institute, Harmony on Lake Eloise and Foreman Consulting, Inc.

Schedule of Events:

Magnolia Room
4:00 p.m. – Richard Stevens
A Modern Marvel turned Urban Blight: The “Wicked Problem” of Light Pollution

5:30p.m. – Tampa Bay Bats and Francine Prager
Bats of the World

7:00 p.m. – Richard Stevens
A Modern Marvel turned Urban Blight: the “Wicked Problem” of Light Pollution

8:30p.m. – Russell Romanella (NASA)
The Future or Human and Robotic Space Exploration

Discovery Center
5:00p.m. – George Fleenor
Looking at the Universe

6:30p.m. – Joshua Colwell
The Ringed Planet: Cassini’s Voyage of Discovery at Saturn

Visitor Center
6:00p.m.-9:00p.m. – Orlando Science Center
Hands-on science
Children who complete their Passports may enter them in a drawing to win four Orlando Science Center general admission tickets

Visitor Center Theater
6:00p.m., 7:00p.m. & 8:00p.m. – Van de Graaff Demonstration

Outdoor Kitchen
6:00p.m.—9:00p.m.—Mobile Planetarium

Astronomy Meadow
6:00 p.m. — Event closing
Night Sky Viewing with Telescopes and Astronomers

Terrace Garden
6:00p.m. – 9:00p.m. – Owls
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Bats

Carillon Concert – 8:00p.m.

The Shop at Bok and the Blue Palmetto Café
open until 9:30p.m.

Entrance gate open until 10 p.m.
Take your picture with roving Star Wars characters in the Gardens
Enter a drawing to win one of three pairs of astronomy binoculars in front of the Visitor Center