The Grand Canyon is hosting an amazing star party this month, what you need to know

The Grand Canyon is hosting an amazing star party this month, what you need to know

The Grand Canyon is hosting an amazing star party this month, what you need to know

If you like stargazing and can be at the Grand Canyon from June 18-25, you should add the Grand Canyon Star Party to your calendar.

The Grand Canyon Star Party at Grand Canyon National Park is free, although you will still have to pay the park entrance fee. Held on both the South Rim and North Rim, the event kicks off every evening at sunset. Astronomers will even attend and share their telescopes.

“See an assortment of planets, binary stars, star clusters, nebulae and distant galaxies at night, and perhaps the sun or Venus during the day,” Rader Lane, a night watchman for park ranger at the Grand Canyon, said in a statement. “The sky will be starry and dark until the moon rises on the first night. Later in the week of the Star Party, it will gradually rise.”

Here is an overview of the planned events.

South Rim Star Party 2022

The South Rim Star Party is sponsored by the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association.

There will be night sky photography workshops, constellation talks, and ranger-led constellation tours every evening. Every evening there is also a different evening program at 20:00

Here is the program for the evening programs.

June 18, Mars Perseverance

Aaron Yazzie, a mechanical engineer at NASA JPL and a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, will give a presentation on the Mars rover he helped build, as well as the connections between Mars and the Navajo Nation.

June 19, unfold the universe with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

Visitors will learn about the engineering and science behind the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope during a discussion led by John Durning, deputy project manager for the James Webb Space Telescope Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

June 20, Tour Of The Universe: You’re Here

Attendees will learn about the billions of stars and galaxies in the universe during a presentation by Dean Regas, outreach astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory, and former co-host of PBS’s stargazers

June 21, stars up, lights down

Ashley Wilson, director of conservation at the International Dark-Sky Association, will lead a presentation about the association and its work to protect the dark night sky from light pollution.

June 22, fly me to the moon via Northern Arizona

During a presentation led by Kevin Schindler, a historian at Lowell Observatory, attendees will learn about the training astronauts went through in northern Arizona in the 1960s and 1970s as they prepared for lunar missions.

June 23, Harmonious nightscapes

The Dark Sky Quartet, a classical string quartet, will perform live under the stars.

June 24, Life in the Cosmos

David Koerner, professor emeritus at Northern Arizona University, will discuss “how factors that led to life on Earth point to the potential for extraterrestrial life in the universe.”

June 25, The Amazing Nuwuvi Universe

“Fly into space with a native astronomer,” Autumn Gillard, Southern Paiute astronomer at Pipe Spring National Monument, “and learn about the cultural connection Southern Paiute has to the dark sky.”

North Rim Star Party 2022

During Star Party, telescopes are set up on the front porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge each evening. An astronomy-related evening program will be presented at 8 p.m. in the Grand Canyon Lodge auditorium, along with constellation lectures each evening.

The North Rim Star Party is sponsored by the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix, Arizona.

What you need to know

If you’re planning to attend the 2022 Grand Canyon Star Party, dress warmly: Temperatures drop quickly after sunset, even in summer.

Please also note that the use of flashlights with white bulbs and cell phone lights is not recommended in the telescope area. Instead, you should use a flashlight with a red bulb, as it will preserve your (and everyone’s) night vision, so your eyes don’t have to adjust to the dark repeatedly.

You can learn more about the Grand Canyon Star Party 2022, June 18-25, here.

Finally, don’t worry if you’re interested in stargazing in the Grand Canyon but don’t have the opportunity to attend the Star Party this year. The Grand Canyon is an International Dark Sky Park, so, as the National Park Service notes, “practically anywhere in the park is a great spot for stargazing because of the park’s efforts to reduce light pollution.”

You can learn more about stargazing in the Grand Canyon here.

Be sure to check out the rest of our stargazing content, including