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Contact: Vanya Pryputniewicz, 928-638-7958
Contact: Marker Marshall, 928-638-7830
Grand Canyon, AZ - The 23rd annual Grand Canyon Star Party will be held from Saturday, June 8 through Saturday, June 15, 2013 on the South and North rims of Grand Canyon National Park. This event is 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. 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, galaxies, the moon, and the sun. National parks such as Grand Canyon are protective harbors for some of the last remaining dark skies in this country. Weather permitting; you can expect spectacular views of the universe!
On the South Rim, events include a slide show nightly at 8 pm in the Grand Canyon Visitor Center theater, followed by telescope viewing behind the building. The slide show is open seating and doors open at 7:40 pm. Green-laser constellation tours will be offered at 9, 9:30 and 10 pm. Parking is available in Lots 1 through 4 (Lot 4 is recommended for visitors with accessibility needs), or arrive by the free Village Route shuttle bus, which runs until 11 pm. Telescope viewing is best after 9 pm and continues well into the night; visitors may arrive anytime after dark. A flashlight is recommended for the walk to the viewing area, however, white lights are not permitted on the telescope lot. Give your eyes time to dark-adapt, or use a red flashlight, which can be easily made by covering any flashlight with red cellophane, nail polish, or permanent marker.
On the North Rim, telescopes will be set up on the porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge every evening. Check the North Rim 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 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 newspaper The Guide for tour bus routes and schedules. If you plan to stay overnight at Grand Canyon National Park, plan your visit well in advance. Browse the park's official website at www.nps.gov/grca, or download the 2013 Trip Planner or 2013 Summer Guide at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parknews/newspaper.htm.
For additional information on the Grand Canyon Star Party see http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/grand-canyon-star-party.htm or contact Marker Marshall at 928-638-7830. For questions about visiting Grand Canyon National Park, visit the park web site or call 928-638-7888.