Grand Canyon’s 23rd Annual Star Party will be held on both South and North Rims from June 8-15, 2013. For eight days in June, park visitors will explore the wonders of the night sky on Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and on the North Rim with the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix.
Amateur astronomers from across the country will volunteer their expertise and will offer free nightly astronomy programs and free telescope viewing. Visitors will have the chance to view the planet Saturn along with a wide assortment of star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae by night, and the sun and planet Mercury by day. Grand Canyon is one of the best night sky observing sites in the United States because it has some of the darkest skies and cleanest air in the country.
Participants will experience spectacular views of the universe! Everyone dress warmly, since temperatures drop quickly after sunset – even during the summer months.
On the South Rim, events will include a slide show nightly at 8:00pm, followed by telescope viewing behind the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. Parking is available in lots 1 through 4, and the Village Route shuttle bus runs every half-hour until 11:00 pm. To make sure you get a seat at the slide show, arrive a few minutes early.
On the North Rim, telescopes will be set up on the porch of the lodge every evening, with some possibility of daytime scopes available as well. Bulletin boards at the Visitor Center will list additional events such as star talks and special slide show programs in the Grand Canyon Lodge auditorium
The event is free (other than paying the park entrance fee of $25 per vehicle and good for 7 days of coming and going to either rim.) To save time at the gate, you may purchase your entry pass at the Valle Travel Stop!