DEATH VALLEY –For decades, the remarkable terrain of Death Valley has been one of scientists’ favorite stand-ins for Mars due to its arid climate and unique geology: Death Valley. Now the public has a chance to explore the region’s alien-like landscape and experience what life on Mars might be like with the Celestial Centennial and MarsFest Symposium 2016, a three-day, free public festival that will be held April 8-10, 2016 in Death Valley National Park.
The Celestial Centennial and MarsFest Symposium is a night sky and space festival that brings together educators, scientists, the public and National Park enthusiasts looking to learn more about Earth, Mars and the rest of the solar system. Participants will enjoy guided field trips to Death Valley’s rugged, otherworldly terrain that serves as researching and testing sites for places on Mars, such as Mars Hill, the Ubehebe Crater, and Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. Other weekend events include panel discussions and lectures about current research and exploration; a Day Time Expo for visitors to experience what is happening in the cosmos; a Night Time Expo complete with telescopes to view the universe and beyond; a campfire program and stargazing event; and numerous family-friendly, hands-on events and activities.
The Celestial Centennial and MarsFest Symposium is hosted by the SETI Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Astrobiology Institute, National Park Service and Death Valley Natural History Association. Visitors of all ages are invited to attend, with more information, a schedule of events, and details on how to register available at www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/celestial-centennial.htm.
With Celestial Centennial and MarsFest events centered around Furnace Creek, the ideal place to stay is the oasis at Furnace Creek Resort, including the family-friendly Ranch at Furnace Creek, with its towering palm trees and true oasis atmosphere situated on the desert floor, and the more sophisticated and refined Inn at Furnace Creek. Fed by natural spring waters, The Ranch boasts a large pool, golf course (the lowest on Earth), post office, general store, casual dining restaurants, horseback riding and 224 rooms. The romantic, historic AAA Four Diamond, Inn at Furnace Creek, nestled into the mountainside where the spring bubbles forth, was built in the late 1920s by the Borax Company and features 66 elegant rooms, fine dining, verandas with sweeping views of Death Valley, opulent gardens, a stunning spring-fed pool, tennis courts and pool-side massages.
Rates begin at $239 for The Ranch and $449 for The Inn, are subject to availability and do not include taxes and resort fees.
Furnace Creek Resort is two hours west of Las Vegas by car and a four-hour drive from Los Angeles.
For additional information, call 800-236-7916 or visit www.furnacecreekresort.com.
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