DARK SKIES

STARS AT NIGHT ARE BIG AND BRIGHT

In February, 2019, Rappahannock County Park became the third county park in the U.S. to receive the International Dark Sky designation. There is a strong local commitment to maintaining pristine night skies including a program to replace unshielded outdoor lighting with dark-sky compliant fixtures.

A typical view of the Milky Way on a clear night from Rappahannock County Park, across Route 211 from the Town of Washington. Credit: Joyce Harman

The Park offers facilities suitable for hosting dark sky events with four or more planned annually. 

NEVER SEEN THE MILKY WAY? NOW YOU CAN

You don’t need to be an astronomer to witness the awesome beauty of the Milky Way or get acquainted with planets, moons and constellations.

A SKY FULL OF GLITTERING JEWELS

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provided a keyhole view towards the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy. Hubble peered into the Sagittarius Star Cloud, providing this spectacular glimpse of a treasure chest of stars.  By studying older stars that pack our Milky Way’s hub, scientists can learn more about the evolution of the galaxy.  Credit:Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA/ESA)

DARK SKY EVENTS – 2021

Come on a star treasure hunt where light pollution is a dirty word and lovely B&Bs and Inns hold the promise of sweet dreams!  All events are at Rappahannock County Park.

Sat. May 8, 8:00 pm 

Sat. June 12, 8:00 pm

Sat. July 24, 8:00 pm 

Sat. Aug. 7, 8:00 pm

Sat. Sept. 11, 7:00 pm

Sat. Oct. 9, 6:30 pm

Rappahannock County Dark Sky   Credit: Joyce Harman

NEOWISE, the brightest comet to appear in Northern Hemisphere skies in nearly a quarter of a century, was photographed by Dan Martin in Rappahannock County Park during a Dark Sky event on July 18, 2020. The comet could be seen by the naked eye.