Night skies

The night sky at Tumacácori National Historical Park.

Tumacácori National Historical Park will be open until 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10, during the first full moon of 2020, kicking off a season of “Experience the Night” programs.

It’s one of four opportunities to experience the park after dark this season, the others coming on Saturday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, March 24; and Wednesday, April 22.

Attendees can view the sky through telescopes or binoculars, or explore the mission grounds by candlelight. Programs will feature astronomy and history; April’s program will explore nocturnal wildlife such as bats and owls.

Visitors should bring a flashlight (with a red filter, if possible), dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. “Consider bringing a mat or lawn chair to relax on and enjoy the night sky,” the park said in an announcement.

Entrance is $10 per adult, free for federal pass holders and children under 16.

“We’ve enjoyed a long history of night sky scholars and enthusiasts visiting the mission,” Park Superintendent Bob Love said. “Native people, astronomers like Father Kino, and settlers and cowboys who may have stopped to camp at the mission, all looked to the sky at night. Our designation last year as an International Dark Sky Park protects that experience for current and future generations.”

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