The Grand Canyon Star Party, which runs from Saturday, June 22 through Saturday, June 29, puts the night sky in the spotlight for eight days this month.
The event offers free admission and amazing programming.
“Skies will be starry and dark until the moon rises the first night,” said the NPS on its official site. “It rises progressively later throughout the week of the Star Party.”
On the South Rim, the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association will be in charge of the activities. A nightly slide display will be presented by amateur astronomers at 8 p.m., followed by a telescope viewing behind the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.
Starting at 9 p.m., park rangers will lead constellation tours. Workshops on night sky photography will also be available.
Here, the party will go off on June 18 with a Mars Perseverance talk from someone who worked on the rover that arrived on the red planet, followed by presentations all week on topics ranging from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to how astronauts trained in northern Arizona in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix will assist with telescope gazing at Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim.
An astronomy presentation will be held in the Grand Canyon Lodge auditorium at 8 p.m., and constellation talks will be given throughout the night.
Solar telescopes will be set up at the lodge during the day.
Visitors are requested to bring a red flashlight, rather than a white flashlight, as the latter may interfere with observation.
While the free admission covers the entire week of festivities, visitors are advised to reserve lodging or a campsite. Also, dress warmly as temperatures can drop quickly at night.
Grand Canyon National Park has just received an official award from the International Dark-Sky Association. This indicates that the park has taken special steps to avoid light pollution, making it easier to observe the night sky and appreciate the natural beauty.
Visit the event website for a complete schedule of events during the Star Party.