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Photo courtesy of Andy Graham

Night Sky Program Updates - Summer 2022

Our Night Sky Program has been shining brightly this year! With the creation of the Gillespie County Friends of the Night Sky, we now have 14 Friends of the Night Sky groups in our region—and eight of those were formed in just the last year! In Kerr County, we’re working with the Kerr County Friends of the Night Skyto support the City of Kerrville in the creation of a night-sky-friendly lighting ordinance—a first for that city. In Travis County, we partnered with several local groups to host a Star Party extravaganza at Jester King – one of several star parties we’ve cohosted across the region this year.

We are also looking forward to our third official Hill Country Night Sky Month this October and we continue to convene quarterly meetings of our 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Roundtable, to help our region prepare for the once-in-a-lifetime event that will be the 2024 eclipse overhead in the Hill Country.

Recent Night Sky News and Events

Images, clockwise from top left: 1) On August 30, the Travis County Commissioners Court signed a resolution directing regional coordination with HCA and other partners in recognition and support of the upcoming annular and total solar eclipses. 2) Travis County Commissioner Ann Howard is pictured with Night Sky Program Manager Dawn Davies after the resolution passed. 3) HCA staff got to join campers at El Ranchito summer camp for an evening star party. 4) Ozona Bank recognized as a Dark Sky Friendly Building by the Wimberley Valley Dark Sky Committee in July.

October is Night Sky Month

The third annual Hill Country Night Sky Month is happening this October and it is a great opportunity for communities to celebrate our region’s iconic dark, starry skies. Businesses are planning candlelight dinners, astronomy groups are hosting star parties, and cities are writing proclamations to raise awareness and encourage safe lighting for starry nights. 

There are so many ways to participate —and this year, you can also submit your very own events to the Hill Country Night Sky Month Calendar!

Eclipse News and Resources

Have you heard? Between now and 2024, the Hill Country will play center stage to two phenomenal solar events - both a partial and a total solar eclipse! As Night Sky Program Manager, Dawn Davies was quoted in a recent interview with KXAN, Texas will be the first state to experience the 2024 eclipse before it heads northeast. The eclipse is projected for April 8, 2024 - aligning with the Hill Country's already popular wildflower and migratory bird seasons. 
Both the 2023 and 2024 solar events are expected to drive up tourism to the region - with hundreds of thousands of visitors projected for the total solar eclipse in 2024. HCA is convening quarterly round table meetings of task forces preparing for both - learn more and get involved on our website at the link below.

Help our Night Sky Program shine!

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PO Box 151675  |  Austin, TX 78715 |

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