Event organizers for the 3rd Annual Dark Sky Festival initially canceled the event prior to the Town’s canceling of community events. But in an effort to offer night sky enthusiasts something positive and fun to enjoy during these trying times, they decided to create a virtual version of the festival on March 28.
The online event will kick off with a segment about Fountain Hills as an International Dark Sky Community. Viewers will enjoy a welcome from Mayor Ginny Russo Dickey, learn about the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association, dark sky-friendly lighting tips, and what to see in the night sky with the naked eye for the first couple of weeks into April.
In the next segment, winners of the Student Art Contest and our Astrophotography Contest will be announced. Submissions were received before the event was canceled. There will also be a brief introduction to getting started in astrophotography.
Next will be presentations about the impact of light pollution on wildlife. Viewers will love hearing from local wildlife expert, Ranger Amy Burnett.
And finally, there will be three separate segments of the festival presenters. Dr. Mario Motto, a trustee of the American Medical Association, will be speaking about “Adverse Health Effects of Light at Night”. Ted Blank, Fountain Hills’ own NASA ambassador, will be speaking about “Project Apollo: How Mankind Got to the Moon”. Viewers will also learn about the Charles Jules telescope at the River of Time Museum. Jules discovered more than 400 asteroids from his backyard observatory in Fountain Hills. The Fountain Hills Library will share about their telescope lending program and more.
Festival planners will begin releasing the videos on Facebook at 4:00 PM on March 28.
For those who are not on Facebook, you can view the complete series of festival videos at FHDarkSky.com.