Explore the universe with amateur astronomers at Grand Canyon Star Party

Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK – The 23rd annual Grand Canyon Star Party will be held from June 8-15 on both the south and north rims of Grand Canyon National Park.

South Rim

On the South Rim, events include a slide show nightly at 8 p.m. in the Grand Canyon Visitor Center theater, followed by telescope viewing behind the building. The slide show is open seating and doors open at 7:40 p.m. Green-laser constellation tours will be offered at 9, 9:30 and 10 p.m.

Parking is available in Lots 1 through 4 (Lot 4 is recommended for visitors with accessibility needs), or arrive by the free village route shuttle bus, which runs until 11 p.m. Telescope viewing is best after 9 p.m. and continues well into the night; visitors may arrive anytime after dark.

A flashlight is recommended for the walk to the viewing area, however, white lights are not permitted on the telescope lot.  Give your eyes time to dark-adapt, or use a red flashlight, which can be easily made by covering any flashlight with red cellophane, nail polish or permanent marker. Nighttime temperatures on both rims can be quite cool, even in the summer. Those attending the star party are encouraged to bring warm layers of clothing.

When traveling on the South Rim, it is best to find a parking space and use the free shuttle bus system to access points of interest in the Grand Canyon Village area. See the park newspaper “The Guide” for tour bus routes and schedules. If you plan to stay overnight at Grand Canyon National Park, plan your visit well in advance. Browse the park’s official website or download the 2013 Trip Planner or 2013 Summer Guide.

North Rim

On the North Rim, telescopes will be set up on the porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge every evening. Check the North Rim Visitor Center and park bulletin boards for additional daytime and evening events.

At both events, amateur astronomers from across the country will volunteer their expertise. Free slide programs will be offered and numerous telescopes will be set up to view planets, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, the moon and the sun.

National Parks

National parks such as the Grand Canyon are protective harbors for some of the last remaining dark skies in the country. Weather permitting, participants can expect spectacular views of the universe.

The program is sponsored by the National Park Service, Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix with funding from the Grand Canyon Association.

For additional information on the Grand Canyon Star Party, visit the park website or contact Marker Marshall at 928-638-7830.

Event details and contact information

Date: June 8 to 15

Time: Every night

Location: South Rim and North Rim

Admission: Free

Contact: Vanya Pryputniewicz – 928-638-7958

Submitted by: Grand Canyon National Park

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News
Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News

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