The celebration of Halloween and The Texas Dark Skies Festival will combine in a free two-day event here Oct. 30 and 31.
The Dark Skies initiative seeks to eliminate as much light pollution as possible in the region to allow the best possible viewing of the universe from the McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis.
Smaller, amateur telescopes in the area also benefit from the darker skies.
Bill Wren of McDonald, who has been called “the ambassador of dark skies,” will speak at four assemblies at all three Presidio School campuses on Oct. 30, prior to a star party that night at Fort Leaton just east of Presidio.
Wren will explain the importance of dark skies and how residents can modify their outdoor lighting for minimal light pollution.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Wren has been interested in astronomy since he was a child, looking at the dark skies with his dad.
Stephen Odewahn, a resident astronomer and research scientist at McDonald, will discuss some aspects of the “Dark Sides” of astronomy at those meetings.
He also will describe what Dark Matter and Dark Energy mean and explain some work at McDonald Observatory that is helping push knowledge forward on these mysterious concepts.