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Night Sky Symposium looks at the dark side



TIMES' TAKE: Dark sky preservation is in the major news outlets more and more. This image is from a recent The New York Times story. See it at

The issue of preserving darkness in the night skies is increasingly gaining national attention, and it will be addressed in detail during a two-day, two-location event called the Gorge Night Sky Symposium, being held Thursday, Aug. 18, at the Goldendale Observatory from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 19, at the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

There will be free shuttle service to the Observatory from the Goldendale High School parking lot.

This is a festival style event at the Goldendale Observatory for promotion of responsible lighting practices and preservation of the rural dark sky. There will be presentations and tours of the Observatory and formal presentations by state park staff, Representative Gina McCabe, and a keynote address by the author of The End of Night, Paul Bogard from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Observatory is open to the public that day, and the event access is free. Food and beverage access require a $35 registration. Beer is to be provided by Ecliptic Brewing; wine is from Maryhill Winery; and catering is by Taqueria Veracruz. Dress warmly.

There will also be live streaming at the Friends of Goldendale Observatory YouTube Channel at:

The next day in The Dalles, there will be multiple speakers, vendors and workshops discussing the promotion of energy efficient lighting options while preserving the rural dark sky in the Columbia River Gorge. Day two is geared toward an audience of astronomers/dark-sky enthusiasts, LED lighting professionals, regional utilities, local lighting vendors/installers, high profile end users, local government and interested individuals. $25 pre registration is required. Late registration fees may apply.

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