• Montezuma Castle's prehistoric dwelling

    Montezuma Castle

    National Monument Arizona

Seeing Stars at Montezuma Well

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Date: October 1, 2012
Contact: Case Griffing, 928-567-3322 x230

National Park Service News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - OCTOBER 1, 2012
E
D CUMMINS, CHIEF RANGER, MOCA/TUZI, 928-567-3322 X227

Seeing Stars at Montezuma Well

Come enjoy Arizona's super dark skies! On the evening of Saturday, October 13, 2012, Montezuma Well, a unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument, will host its first ever Autumn Astronomy Party beside the historic William Back House near the picnic area. Montezuma Well is located at 5525 East Beaver Creek Road in Rimrock, Arizona, and is accessed via I-17, Exit 293.

The monument will be open from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., and Ranger Case Griffing will kick off the night's events with a sunset talk at 6:30. The Astronomers of the Verde Valley, central Arizona's own astronomy club, will bring telescopes and guide visitors on a journey through the heavens-from Perseus the Hero rising in the east to fire-hearted Scorpius setting in the west. Visitors will see distant galaxies, sparkling jewel-like star clusters, and nebulae where infant stars are just being born. Park Rangers will answer questions about constellations, and kids can earn badges by becoming Junior Ranger Night Explorers.

Participants should wear comfortable shoes and bring water, insect repellant, and binoculars if they have them. Flashlights are allowed, but all lights must be covered with a red filter (red cellophane and a rubber band work great). All activities will take place in or near the picnic area. The trail around the Well and the Well itself will be closed. Parking is limited, so please car-pool and/or drive your compact car if at all possible.

The program is free. For more information, please call Park Ranger Case Griffing at (928) 567-3322, extension 230.

--NPS--

Did You Know?

Datura Flower

Spring is a beautiful time at Montezuma Castle National Monument. Beware this flower, though: this Sacred Datura, or Jimson Weed, is toxic if eaten.