Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party 2021, June 5-12

A black and white photo of the stars swirling around the north star. A tall cylindrical stone building appears to the left amongst small trees.

NPS Photo by Daniel Pawlak

 

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Schedule: Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party 2021

Grand Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon Conservancy invites everyone to the Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party taking place , June 5-12, 2021. While the on-site event at Grand Canyon National Park is cancelled on both rims due to concerns over COVID-19, the park will bring the wonders of the night sky into the virtual realm through a series of video premieres on the park's Facebook page.

Over the course of the week, there will be 8 special presentations by guest speakers - and virtual telescope sessions - in which astronomers connect video cameras to their telescopes and examine a number of celestial objects. The nightly telescope sessions will last between 60 and 90 minutes. See the schedule of talks below:
 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

7:30 pm (PDT) Mars 2020 - Perserverance

Learn about the revolutionary new rover that landed on Mars from someone who helped build it. Discover the connections between Mars and the Navajo Nation from someone intimate with both lands.
Aaron Yazzie, mechanical engineer for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sequoyah Fellow and professional member American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

YouTube Link
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9 pm (PDT) Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party: Telescope Session 1

By the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

Sunday, June 6, 2021

7:30 pm (PDT) Southern Paiute Astronomy

Learn about Autumn Gillard's efforts to rediscover the rich history of Paiute astronomy, and how she navigates that traditional knowledge through contemporary society.
Autumn Gillard, dark sky ranger at Pipe Springs National Monument and member of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah.

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

9 pm (PDT) Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party: Telescope Session 2

By Focus Astronomy

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

Monday, June 7, 2021

7:30 pm (PDT) A Puebloan View of the Stars

Join artist Ed Kabotie as he shares heavenward perspectives as influenced by his Hopi and Tewa heritage.
Ed Kabotie, artist and educator, focusing on the plight of the indigenous peoples and the lands of the Colorado Plateau.

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

9 pm (PDT) Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party: Telescope Session 3

By the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

7:30 pm (PDT) Ancestral Puebloan Sun Calendars

Discover the diverse ways the ancestral peoples of Grand Canyon region used the landscape to create Sun calendars for agricultural and ceremonial purposes.
Bryan Bates, co-founder of the Society for Cultural Astronomy in the American Southwest.

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

9:30 pm (PDT) Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party: Telescope Session 4

By Lowell Observatory

YouTube Link
Facebook LInk

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

7:30 pm (PDT) Zuni World View

Discover the ways the Sun, Moon, and stars are woven into the Zuni world view, as revealed through spiritual leaders and Zuni prayer.
Kenny Bowekaty, archaeologist, preservation officer, tour guide for the Pueblo of Zuni, and Zuni spiritual leader.

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

9 pm (PDT) Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party: Telescope Session 5

By Focus Astronomy

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

Thursday, June 10, 2021

7:30 pm (PDT) A Conversation with Bertram Tsavadawa on Hopi Astronomy

Learn insights into Hopi astronomy through conversation between Bertram Tsavadawa from Hopi and Park Ranger Rader Lane.
Bertram Tsavadawa, katsina doll carver, artist, and tour guide for Ancient Pathways Tours on the Hopi Mesas.

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

9 pm (PDT) Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party: Telescope Session 6

By the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

Friday, June 11, 2021

7:30 pm (PDT) Ancient Astronomers of the American West

Take a tour of the most amazing archaeoastronomical sites around the Four Corners region, and consider visiting them on your next visit to Grand Canyon.
Dr. David Koerner, retired professor of cultural astronomy at Northern Arizona University.

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

9 pm (PDT) Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party: Telescope Session 7

By Focus Astronomy

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

Saturday, June 12, 2021

7:30 pm (PDT) Seeing the Skies Through Navajo Eyes

From cosmology to constellations, discover the intimate connection the Diné (Navajo) people have with the skies over the Grand Canyon region and beyond.
Dr. David Begay and Dr. Nancy Maryboy, authors of Sharing the Skies: Navajo Astronomy.

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

9 pm (PDT) Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party: Telescope Session 8

By Focus Astronomy

YouTube Link
Facebook Link

 
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Information About Attending the Grand Canyon Star Party 2022, in Grand Canyon National Park (June 18-25, 2022)

National parks protect some of the last remaining dark skies in the United States and embraces night skies as one of the many scenic vistas to preserve. Due to its remoteness and clean air, Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best night sky observation sites.

For eight days every June, park visitors explore the wonders of the night sky on the South Rim with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, and on the North Rim with the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix, Arizona.

The 2021 Grand Canyon Star Party, at Grand Canyon National Park was cancelled due to public health concerns about the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

 

Things to Know about the 2022 Star Party

  • Attend this free, open to the general public, event. The park entrance fee, is good on both South and North rims for 7 days. No additional tickets or sign-up is required.
  • The event begins at sunset, although the best viewing is after 9 pm and many telescopes come down after 11 pm; however, on nights with clear, calm skies, some astronomers continue sharing their telescopes into the night.

  • Campground or lodging reservations are recommended.
  • Dress warmly. Temperatures drop quickly after sunset—even during summer months.
  • View an assortment of planets, double stars, star clusters, nebulae and distant galaxies by night, and perhaps the Sun or Venus by day.
  • Skies will be starry and dark until the moon rises the first night. It rises progressively later throughout the week of the Star Party.

Bring a Red Flashlight

Make your way safely: use a red flashlight; white flashlights and cell phone lights are discouraged on the telescope lot. Make a red flashlight by:

  • Covering any flashlight with red cellophane, a limited supply of cellophane and rubber bands are available prior to the evening presentations at the Grand Canyon Visitor center)

  • Painting the flashlight lens with red nail polish or a red magic marker.
  • For more on why red flashlights are helpful, and how the human eye works after dark, click here.
 
a starry night. a family is gathered around a large telescope as an astronomer is talking. Everyone is bathed in red light.

South Rim Star Party 2022


Events include an evening program nightly in the Visitor Center Theater at 8 pm, followed by telescope viewing behind Grand Canyon Visitor Center.

Theater capacity is limited. Arrive well before 8 pm to be sure of getting in, or come after dark and head straight to the telescope lot.

Park rangers offer constellation tours at 9, 9:30, and 10 pm. The slide show, constellation tours, and at least one telescope are wheelchair accessible.

The closest accessible parking is in lot 4. Lots 1 through 3 offer additional parking.

During the Star Party, the Village Route (blue) shuttle bus runs every half-hour until 11 pm sharp.

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

Amateur astronomers from across the country volunteer their expertise and offer free nightly astronomy programs and telescope viewing.

 

Star Party Evening Programs (South Rim)

South Rim Visitor Center. Doors open at 7:40 pm. Presentations start at 8 pm. (Limited-capacity seating)
Program Schedule Coming soon

 

Night Sky Photography Workshops (South Rim)

Night Sky Photography Workshops meet at Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 9:30 pm, then take place out under the stars. Workshops are free and open to the public.
Schedule Coming soon

Constellation Talks (South Rim)

Constellation talks happen every night 9, 9:30 and 10 pm
Schedule Coming soon

 
Twilight; lluminated by red light, a group of people are looking through telescopes on the veranda of a rustic lodge.
Telescope viewing on the veranda of Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim

Photo courtesy of Christian Schroll

North Rim Star Party 2022


Telescopes are set up on the porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge every evening. An astronomy related evening program will be presented at 8 pm in the auditorium of Grand Canyon Lodge. Check park bulletin boards for the evening program schedule.

Constellation talks are also given, throughout the evening.

By day, solar telescopes are set up at the lodge, the Visitor Center and the general store (by campground.)

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

 

Become a Volunteer in 2022

All amateur astronomers interested in sharing the skies with visitors are invited to participate. Whether you can volunteer for a few days or the whole event, you can help to enrich the lives of people from all over the world.

Find volunteer opportunities for day and night telescopic outreach, visual and imaging, laser guided constellation tours, demonstration toolkits and auditorium presentations. Register through the astronomy clubs sponsoring the event, links provided.

 

Questions? E-mail

Rader Lane, Night Sky Park Ranger
Grand Canyon National Park
(928) 638-7641

 

Future Star Party Dates

2022: June 18–25
2023: June 10–17
2024: June 1–08
2025: June 21–28
2026: June 6–13

 
 
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Duration:
4 minutes, 33 seconds

The 2022 Star Party will take place June 18-25 on both North and South Rims of the park. Here is some basic information about this event.

 
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
Duration:
1 minute, 40 seconds

Amateur astronomers from across the country volunteer their expertise and offer free nightly astronomy programs and telescope viewing.

 
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
Duration:
10 minutes, 4 seconds

Experience the mystery and wonder of Grand Canyon National Park's night sky with Astronomer Tyler Nordgren and Park Ranger Rader Lane. Explore the beauty of the night sky and learn what you can do to help preserve it.

 

Last updated: June 8, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

928-638-7888

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