Dark Skies Cosmoarium grand opening to coincide with meteor shower | SierraSun.com

Dark Skies Cosmoarium grand opening to coincide with meteor shower

Special to the Sun
Dark Skies Cosmoarium offers Tahoe Star Tours participants comfortable seating, fire pits and outdoor heaters.
Courtesy Tahoe Star Tours / Ryan Berendsen |

Inspired by the growing popularity of the annual summer star gazing series in the Northern Sierra, Tahoe Star Tours will move its viewing venue to the new Dark Skies Cosmoarium at Northstar California Resort in Truckee this summer.

The event series schedule is also expanding to accommodate those who want to learn about and experience the night sky Thursday through Saturday evenings, June 12 through Sept. 27, with a special Meteor Shower viewing event scheduled to kick the season off on Friday, May 23.

“We’re excited to move Tahoe Star Tours to our new viewing venue and open the Dark Skies Cosmoarium at Northstar this summer,” said Tony Berendsen, owner of Tahoe Star Tours and president of the Northern Nevada Science Coalition. “This change in venue will not only be easy for guests of all ages to access, it features unobstructed vistas that offer incredible perspective of the night sky,”

The Cosmoarium is located near the entrance to Northstar on the lower level of the Castle Peak parking area, offering convenient access and Tahoe Star Tours participants with comfortable seating, fire pits and outdoor heaters. A complimentary shuttle service to and from the Village at Northstar will service the venue.

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Every tour features an informative Star Tour Astronomy presentation by Berendsen, laser tour of the starry sky, telescopic observation with state-of-the-art Celestron Telescopes, complimentary hot chocolate, coffee and s’mores.

Tahoe Star Tours events are $30 for adults, and $15 for children ages 12 and under. Tours begin at 8:15 p.m. and conclude at 10:30 p.m. Event details and ticket information for all tours taking place at Northstar California Resort can be found at http://www.NorthstarCalifornia.com.


A series of special star gazing events will also be offered on select dates this summer, including Concert Star Tours featuring the Accent string quartet on Friday, June 27; Saturday, July 19; and Saturday, Aug. 16.

These three events will feature live performances at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, followed by star gazing opportunities at mid-mountain at Northstar. Tickets are available for $75 per person, $50 for 18 and under.

Tahoe Star Tours will also pay tribute to Carl Sagan on Saturday, Aug. 30 with an extended event at the Dark Skies Cosmoarium at Northstar California Resort featuring astrophysicist Dr. Alex Filippenko, and a panel discussion with local scientists.

For those seeking a bit of adventure, Berendsen will partner with Tahoe Adventure Company to offer a unique opportunity to experience Lake Tahoe at sunset with a guided kayak tour, followed by an illuminating star gazing session. These events will include all kayak gear and knowledgeable guides, hot drinks and snacks, and can be booked online at http://www.tahoeadventurecompany.com for $75 per person.

Advance reservations for all Tahoe Star Tours events are recommended, and all tours are offered weather and conditions permitting. For more information and the complete schedule of events, visit http://www.TahoeStarTours.com.


Tony Berendsen is an award-winning amateur astronomer residing in Reno, Nev. He is president of the Northern Nevada Science Coalition, a past president of the Astronomical Society of Nevada, and has been showing the skies above northern Nevada and California for the past 16 years, including five years at the Fleischmann Planetarium observatory in Reno. He writes astronomy articles for local publications including a monthly column for the Reno Gazette-Journal and specializes in astronomy outreach by conducting star gazing sessions of the Sierra sky. Every Tahoe Star Tours event is as different as thestarry skies above, and each one opens with a poem, a compelling and passionate star talk, followed by telescopic viewing exclusively featuring Celestron telescopes and hot drinks and snack bars by Nature Valley, the official snack of Tahoe Star Tours.


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