Jasper Dark Sky Blog

Power down. Look up.

become a dark sky expert

Watch this page for tips, tricks and guides on how to best experience the Jasper Dark Sky Preserve.


October 7, 2022

There’s no one better to explore the universe with than kids. Their natural sense of wonder lends itself well to the magic of the Jasper Dark Sky Festival, and there’s lots of activities that families will enjoy. Get some ideas with the events below, and explore the entire festival schedule here!


October 5, 2022

Jeanine Holowatuik is an aurora-chaser, astrophotographer and speaker at the 2022 Jasper Dark Sky Festival! After participating in the festival last year, she is now sharing her thoughts on why the JDSF is a must-do for any star-lover. 

Don’t miss these speaker events at the 2022 Jasper Dark Sky Festival

September 29, 2022

There are some elements of the Jasper Dark Sky Festival that visitors can experience year-round. The planetarium shows, the telescope tours, the astrophotography experiences are all available in one form or another at other times of year. But the top benefit of visiting the Jasper Dark Sky Preserve during the festival (Oct. 14-23, 2022) is the amazing caliber of talent of the speakers. 


September 28, 2022

This fall, NASA’s robotic snake, EELS, will slither around the Athabasca Glacier, an icy tongue of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. The EELS team will test the snake’s ability to travel through crevasses and other ice features in the hope that one day it will help search for extraterrestrial life in the subterranean ocean of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. 

What to expect from the new Drone Light Show coming to the Jasper Dark Sky Festival

September 2, 2022

There’s a universal awe that comes from staring up into a sky full of stars. For millennia, people have told stories about the shapes they see in those twinkling dots above – but what if we could actually tell stories by making the stars move. That’s a bit of the magic that drone light shows create. And the result is spectacular. 

Top Events and Speakers at the 2022 Jasper Dark Sky Festival

September 2, 2022

From October 14 to 23, the town of Jasper will sparkle with non-stop dark sky events. From symphonies under the stars to planetarium shows to astrophotography workshops, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival celebrates the art, science and culture surrounding the night sky.


August 10, 2022

Late last September, I received a message on Instagram about an interesting wildlife encounter in town. Given the month, you might guess it involved a testosterone-filled bull elk gearing up for the rut, or perhaps a school field run-in with a feisty Canada goose making its way south. But this one surprised me. 

Jasper Dark Sky Festival returns with drone light show, star speakers, Indigenous events

June 29, 2022

Levitating movie magic will soon dazzle the Rockies for the second year in a row. This October, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival will have a hypnotizing light show of hundreds of choreographed drones moving in sync above the mountain town.

Stories from previous years


October 8 2021

Dr. Shawna Pandya is a physician, scientist-astronaut candidate, speaker, martial artist and adventurer. She’s also a Jasper Dark Sky Festival Veteran, having been a featured speaker for multiple years.

Self-guided itinerary for Jasper Dark Sky Preserve

September 24, 2021

The Jasper Dark Sky Festival has tons of new, adapted events for the 2021 festival but if you don’t have tickets for events in the official program, there’s still plenty of ways to enjoy the world’s second largest dark sky preserve independently. 


September 20, 2021

The Jasper Dark Sky Festival is returning with a star studded line up of speakers. Space pros, scientists and more will be joining us in the Jasper Dark Sky Preserve to observe the cosmos and get lost in space.

6 exciting new events (and 6 returning hits) coming to this year’s Jasper Dark Sky Festival

September 9, 2021

The Jasper Dark Sky Festival is returning to the mountains, and our telescopes are locked and loaded. For the eleventh year in a row, legions of amateur astronomers and space pros will flock to the northern Rockies for a celestial line-up of speakers, events, activities and independent exploration.

5 amazing events happening at the Jasper Dark Sky Festival this weekend

October 21, 2020

The final weekend of the 2020 Jasper Dark Sky Festival is around the corner, with plenty more safe and fascinating events lined up. Here’s a taste of what’s in the schedule. 


October 14, 2020

With a 40-seat domed theatre located on the lakeside grounds of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and the largest, most powerful telescopes in the Rockies, the Jasper Planetarium is the local source for guided tours of the universe.  

Who’s coming to the Jasper Dark Sky Festival

October 9, 2020

Here’s a few of the experts that will be speaking (some in person, some online) at the Jasper Dark Sky Festival.  

Dark Sky Preserves 101

October 7, 2020

Jasper National Park was designated a dark sky preserve in 2011 by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.  Here’s why Dark Sky Preserves are important and where you can gaze at the stars in Jasper National Park.

Jasper’s Dark Sky Festival Marks Tenth Year Anniversary of Connecting All Ages to the Universe and Beyond

September 29, 2020

This years theme offers guests the experience to ‘Venture Beyond Earth’

7 family-friendly ways to enjoy Jasper’s Dark Sky Preserve

September 28, 2020

The universe can make anyone feel small, but even more so when you’re already small. Kids have a natural fascination with the stars above, and the family memories of gazing and learning and storytelling while looking up can last a lifetime.  

Here’s a few ways to explore Jasper’s Dark Sky Preserve with your littles. Remember that since bedtimes might be pushed a smidge later than normal, be ready with extra layers, warm drinks, and lots of snacks.  

12 amazing new events coming to the 2020 dark sky festival

September 24, 2020

Each October for the past decade, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival has brought star-studded line-ups and legions of amateur astronomers to the mountains.  

This year – our tenth anniversary – the festival will look a little different. Due to Covid-19, there will be some changes to prioritize safety for all involved, as well as lots of new opportunities to learn and see the stars. But the awe we feel when looking up at the stars is universal, and we look forward to showcasing the world’s second largest dark sky preserve in a new way. 

Food Lab returns to Jasper with brunch-themed event

October 15, 2019

Mixing food and science, Food Lab is a fun, interactive cooking demo of molecular gastronomy. Led by Estelle Blanchette of Jasper Food Tours and local chef Darryl Huculak, the experience will introduce unique flavours, textures and styles, and explain the quirky cooking techniques behind them. The guests then get to indulge in each mouth-watering dish. 

How to see the aurora borealis in Jasper’s dark sky preserve

September 30, 2019

The northern lights are one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena. The shimmering waves of electromagnetic energy have long inspired astronomers, photographers, scientists, tourists and legions of others to stay out after dark and turn their gaze skyward.  

Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad on science, struggles and stars

September 30, 2019

Jad Abumrad is the host and creator of Radiolab, a public radio program broadcast on 524 stations across the nation and downloaded more than 9 million times a month as a podcast. On October 25, Abumrad will deliver the Keynote talk at the Jasper Dark Sky Festival. 


13 highlight events to attend at the Jasper Dark Sky Festival

September 27, 2019

From October 18 to 27, the town of Jasper sparkles with non-stop dark sky events. From symphonies under the stars to planetarium shows to astrophotography workshops, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival celebrates the art, science and culture surrounding the night sky.

Dark Sky Festival Official Merchandise

September 23, 2019

Available for purchase at the festival, this limited-edition line of clothing and accessories are the perfect way to commemorate Jasper’s world-renowned two-week stargazing bonanza.

9 celestial celebrities on why we should preserve dark skies

September 9, 2019

There’s plenty of reasons to preserve the dark skies that are rapidly being bullied away by light pollution around our world. Here, a group of experts (among them astronauts, scientists, science writers, dark sky photographers and more) tackle the question individually, and their nine unique answers are as thought-provoking as they are inspiring.

Video: CTV Edmonton Interview with Dr. Shawna Pandya

September 9, 2019

Watch as we discuss this year’s Jasper Dark Sky Festival alongside SPACEtalks panelist, Dr. Shawna Pandya.

My life under the stars: Niki Wilson on Jasper’s Dark Sky Preserve

August 28, 2019
As host of the Jasper Dark Sky Festival, science journalist Niki Wilson has extensive knowledge about the protected skies above Jasper National Park. But she also grew up in Jasper, giving her an intimate familiarity with the local celestial wonders. Here, she writes about what those stars mean to her.

What Happens When Stars Align? A 64% Lower Ticket Price!

August 12, 2019

Attend two great events for one great price! For $50, dark sky enthusiasts can attend both the keynote presentation by Jad Abumrad and the fascinating Spacetalks panel.

Watch the Perseid meteor shower in Jasper’s Dark Sky Preserve

August 12, 2019

The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most highly anticipated celestial events on astronomers’ calendars. And there’s no better place to watch than in the world’s second largest dark sky preserve.  

Top 10 Stargazing Spots in Jasper National Park

September 20, 2016
With 11,000 square kilometers of preserved dark sky, it’s guaranteed that on a clear night there’s a spot to see night sky in all its glory.

Tips and Locations to Shoot the Stars in Jasper National Park

August 8, 2019
Jack Fusco is a photographer with a keen eye to capture Jasper National Parks unique landscape. Here he shares some of the best locations around Jasper to Photograph the night Sky.

Q&A: Dr. Shawna Pandya on the Jasper Dark Sky Festival

July 31, 2019
Dr. Shawna Pandya is a physician, scientist-astronaut candidate, speaker, martial artist and adventurer. She’s also speaking at the 2019 Jasper Dark Sky Festival.

10 jaw-dropping photos of Jasper’s dark sky preserve

July 24, 2019

Here are some of the stunning images Jack Fusco and Jeff Bartlett captured of Jasper after the sun has set.

Here are the speakers coming to the 2019 Jasper Dark Sky Festival

May 17, 2019

Hold onto your telescopes because part of the speakers lineup for the 2019 Jasper Dark Sky Festival just dropped and our lil space nerd hearts are shaking.

Symphony under the Stars proves that music is better outside

October 9, 2018

Join the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Strings and conductor Bob Bernhardt for an unforgettable concert at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. 

Feed Mind and Belly at New Dark Sky Festival Event: Food Lab

October 3, 2018

Gourmet meals meet fascinating science demos at Food Lab, a delicious new event presented by Jasper Food Tours and Olive Bistro.

New Museum Exhibition to Showcase Artwork Inspired by Dark Skies

September 14, 2018

The stars have long inspired the human race. From early navigators who told stories anchored by constellations to modern artists like Destanne Norris who commit stunning nebulas to canvas, the cosmos is an boundless muse.

4 Jasper Planetarium Events to Complete Your Dark Sky Festival Experience

September 14, 2018

From stargazing atop a mountain to nighttime photography workshops to touring the most powerful telescope in the Canadian Rockies, the Jasper Planetarium has fantastic events happening every night of the festival.

Emily Calandrelli and Dianna Cowern on the importance of women in STEM

September 11, 2018

One is a executive producer of an Emmy nominated TV show, one is the star of her own acclaimed YouTube channel. But what both Emily and Dianna have in common — besides being speakers at the forthcoming Jasper Dark Sky Festival — is that they are both women in an industry commonly dominated by men

Meet the Stars of Spacetalks

August 31, 2018

The SPACEtalks event, happening Oct. 20 during the 2018 Jasper Dark Sky Festival, has been an audience favourite in the past, and this year’s illustrious panel of astronomers and academics are set to continue the trend.

Mark Kelly – Interview with Alberta Primetime

August 13, 2018

On October 19, Mark Kelly and his brother Scott Kelly will deliver the keynote address at the 2018 Jasper Dark Sky Festival.


August 9, 2018

Star gazers and science lovers rejoice! The Jasper Dark Sky Festival is back for its 8th year and the lineup is better than ever.


June 27, 2017
Between the incredible dark sky and the beautiful mountains, Jasper is hands down one of my favourite place to take pictures of the stars.

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