Physics and Astronomy Undergraduate Students Head to Cherry Springs, PA to Visit Second-Ever International Dark Sky Park

Over the first weekend of September, a group of 6 students from Pitt's Physics department piled themselves and a bunch of camping equipment into a van and drove almost five hours to North-central PA with hopes of seeing the galaxy. Cherry Springs, PA was the second-ever International Dark Sky Park in the world and now has the reputation of being the best place to stargaze on the East coast, making it the ultimate destination for these space-loving students. The entire park is protected from light pollution, allowing the skies to be as dark as possible, which makes for some spectacular views. In good conditions, you can even see the Milky Way with the naked eye. The students traveled to participate in an event called the Black Forest Star Party, which is put on by the Central Pennsylvania Observers and attracts astronomy enthusiasts from all over. This gave them the opportunity to listen to talks about astronomy during the daytime and see some exciting astronomy equipment during the nighttime. Unfortunately, the weather for the event wasn’t great, however during the first night of the trip the clouds cleared for enough time to be able to see the Milky Way - and it was spectacular. Rain sadly forced an early end to the weekend, but after seeing the stars on the first night and hiking in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon during the second day, the students still had a great time and would like to thank the Department of Physics & Astronomy for sending them to the event!






Undergraduate Students: 

Helena Richie

William Floyd

Alexander Haidet

Grace Chu

Sarah Motz

Philip Shenk

Date :
Friday, September 28, 2018 - 12:15