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True moments of wonder are rare and unforgettable. We hunt them, near or far. This fall, turn your attention to the skies above the Canadian Rockies and marvel at their beauty during the outstanding annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival. This year, it'll be held October 18 to 27 in Jasper National Park.

With little light pollution, Jasper makes for outstanding stargazing and has been designated a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Conditions here are ideal.

This annual event is a unique blend of adventure and astronomy, science and solitude. And it's all done under the dark fall skies of Jasper. Here are 5 of the things that most excite us about this year's Jasper Dark Sky Festival.

1. Fall nights are for cozy wonder

Fall nights are for cozy wonder: With the darkness of winter knocking but the warmth of fall lingering, it's the perfect time of year to be outside at night. During the summer, the sun sets very late. During winter, it can be really, really cold. We can't wait for the October 25 outdoor stargazing event at Lake Annette—bring a warm mug and a puffy jacket to help ensure there's some warmth in your wonder.

Then, head indoors to mingle at the VIP Stargazing Reception at the cozy Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen.

A night time view of a lake, with northern lights in the distance behind a mountain range.

2. UFOs are real. Discuss.

It's not often we get to be serious about extra-terrestrial phenomena. With renowned British researcher Nick Pope coming to Jasper to lead a morning workshop, we'll get to do some decidedly serious talk about things like alien abductions and crop circles.

3. Moonlight Music

The Dark Sky Festival's signature outdoor event is the Symphony Under the Stars, which sees the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Strings, under conductor Alex Prior, perform outside next to Lac Beauvert on October 19. Bring a cozy blanket and watch the twilight roll by as you take in some of the finest music under the sky.

A concert stage at night time under a dark sky.

4. Close up and hands on

We can't wait to explore things like electricity, lasers, lunar landings, gravity and a large inflatable moon during the Over the Moon day of activities on Saturday, October 26. This is a real hands-on day, where the wonder from the night turns into tactile learning that'll be loaded with aha moments.

5. New friends

Perhaps the best thing about the Dark Sky Festival is just getting together with a group of people from around the world who share a curiosity for knowledge, a love of the outdoors and passion for the night sky. Cheers to making new friends.

A person looks into a telescope under a starry night sky.

6. Great value

Many Jasper hotels have built budget-friendly packages to coincide with the Dark Sky Festival. The Crimson is a funky and modern hotel popular with adventurers while the Sawridge has a spa so you can contemplate the universe while treating yourself gently. This kind of wonder doesn't have to bust your wallet.

Besides these reasons, there are plenty of other highlights in Jasper from October 18 to 27, 2019. For more information visit jasperdarksky.travel

And hope to see you out under the stars!

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