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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, AZ - The twentieth annual Grand Canyon Star Party will be held from Saturday, June 5 through Saturday, June 12, 2010 on the South and North Rims of Grand Canyon National Park.
This event is sponsored by the National Park Service, the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (South Rim), and the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix (North Rim), with funding from Grand Canyon Association. Amateur astronomers from across the country will volunteer their expertise. Free slide programs will be offered, and numerous telescopes will be set up to view planets, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies at night and to view the sun by day. National parks such as Grand Canyon are protective harbors for some of the last remaining dark skies in this country. Weather permitting; expect spectacular views of the universe!
On the South Rim, events include a slide show nightly at 8:00 p.m. next to Yavapai Observation Station, followed by free telescope viewing. Parking is very limited. Plan to walk or arrive by free Village Route shuttle bus which runs until 11:00 p.m. For a comfortable spot at the slide shows, arrive early and bring something to sit on. Telescope viewing continues well into the night; visitors may arrive anytime after dark. Visitors to the South Rim Star Party will need a flashlight for the walk to the viewing area, but are asked to keep flashlights pointed down to protect everyone’s night vision. A red flashlight is best, and can be made by covering any flashlight with red cellophane or red nail polish or even red magic marker.
On the North Rim, telescopes will be set up on the porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge every evening. Check the Visitor Center and park bulletin boards for additional daytime and evening events.
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.
When traveling in the park on the South Rim, it is best to find a parking space and use the free shuttle bus system to access points of interest in the Grand Canyon Village area. See the Park Guide for tour bus routes and schedules. If you plan to stay overnight at Grand Canyon National Park, plan your visit well in advance. A Grand Canyon Trip Planner can be downloaded at www.nps.gov/grca, or you can receive one by calling (928) 638-7888.
To learn more about Grand Canyon’s star parties you can listen to the podcast at http://www.nps.gov/grca/photosmultimedia/insiders-look-40.htm or visit the web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/grand-canyon-star-party.htm.
For information specific to the South Rim Star Party, contact Marker Marshall at (928) 638-7830; or for the North Rim Star Party, contact Robin Tellis at (928) 638-7739.