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2024 Dark Sky Festival in Death Valley National Park

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2024 Dark Sky Festival in Death Valley National Park


DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Explore the wonders of space from one of the darkest locations in the United States. The Death Valley Dark Sky Festival will take place Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3. This popular event was attended by over 3500 people last year.

death valley dark sky
Visitors learn about dunes systems around the solar system with JPL Planetary Scientist Mike Malaska. NPS/ Stephanie Lamar

Scientists and park rangers fill the weekend with 32 live presentations, an exploration fair, family programs, telescope viewings and more. The in-person festival programming is a mix of daytime and nighttime activities with events for all ages. Visitors will have the chance to learn about a variety of topics ranging from space exploration to how Death Valley has helped us learn about other worlds.

For the first time in the festival’s 12-year history, Death Valley is excited to host a fully virtual presentation! On Thursday, February 29th at 6:00 pm PST, astrobiologist and organic geochemist Dr. Luoth Chou will present Rock n’ Rover: Exploring Mars and Death Valley with Curiosity. Dr. Chou will take participants on a journey through the history book of Mars where she will uncover parallels between the red planet and Death Valley. The event will be hosted on Microsoft Live; visit the event calendar on Death Valley’s website ( for all event details, including the link to join.

death valley dark sky
2023 Keynote Speaker Dr. Katarina Markovic presents the history of the universe. NPS/ John Hallett

“Death Valley National Park is excited to host this no cost event which will connect park visitors with dark skies and renowned specialists and experts,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “We hope you can make it out to Death Valley for this family friendly event.”

The National Park Service hosts the Dark Sky Festival in cooperation with Death Valley Natural History Association, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ames Research Center, SETI, Las Vegas Astronomical Society and California Institute of Technology.

death valley dark sky festival
Visitors stargaze using telescopes provided by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society and Caltech NPS/ Jeremy Evans

For a full list of programs and lodging options visit the park website:

Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural resources, cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. Learn more at

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