There are no bad views of Grand Canyon and that includes the dark skies above. Get a closer look at the universe at the Grand Canyon Star Party, both North and South Rims, June 13 through 20, 2015.
Photo of Milky Way at North Rim Grand Canyon courtesy of Ron Pelton Jr
This event is sponsored by the National Park Service Grand Canyon National Park, the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (South Rim), and the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix (North Rim), with funding from Grand Canyon Association. They call themselves amateur astronomers but are actually more likely to make astronomical discoveries than the professionals as they spend more time looking through a telescope than the pros. And they like to share their passion and expertise with visitors.
Telescope viewing is best after 9 pm and continues well into the night. A flashlight is recommended but white lights are not permitted because they disrupt night vision. Please use a red flashlight, easily made by covering any flashlight with red cellophane, nail polish, or permanent marker. Please have patience waiting in line for telescope viewing. Nighttime temperatures on both rims can be quite cool, even in summer. Those attending the star party are encouraged to bring warm layers of clothing.
On the South Rim, events include a nightly slide show at 8 pm in the theater of the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, followed by free telescope viewing behind the building. Green-laser Constellation Tours will be offered at 9, 9:30 & 10 pm. Parking is available in Lots 1 through 4 (use Lot 4 if accessibility is an issue), or arrive by the free Village Route shuttle bus, which runs until 11 pm. To guarantee a seat at the slide show, arrive early; doors open at 7:40 pm.
On the North Rim, telescopes will be set up on the porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge every evening until there’s nobody left to share with. Additional day time sun viewing and evening events will be posted in the Visitor Center.
Kaibab Lodge, located about 6 miles outside the North Rim entrance, will also have telescopes set up on the nearby meadow.
Star Party is included with the price of park admission. Join in watching the night sky.