June on the North and South Rims
National parks such as Grand Canyon are protective harbors for some of the last remaining dark skies in this country. The entire park becomes an observatory during the annual Grand Canyon Star Party when volunteer astronomers set up telescopes for public viewing and share 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. The slide show changes each night so you can come multiple nights and see something new each time.
The Grand Canyon Star Party annually takes place for 8 nights in June which is usually the clearest and driest month of the year. The date varies from year to year to avoid a full moon for the best visibility of the stars. There are also a few scopes set up during the day to view the sun and Venus.
No RSVP is required. Just show up. But, don’t bring a regular flashlight or use your cell phone light. No white light is allowed. You can get special red flashlights, or can convert a flashlight with red cellophane, red nail polish, or red marker.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/grand-canyon-star-party.htm.
Sponsored by the National Park Service, Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (South Rim), and Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix (North Rim), with funding from the Grand Canyon Association.