Free telescope viewing June 8-15 at Grand Canyon National Park

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Starting June 8 until June 15, North and South Rim visitors will be seeing stars.

It's time for the 23rd annual Star Party at the Grand Canyon. Amateur astronomers from across the country will volunteer their expertise to eager start gazers. National Park Service (NPS) will offer free slide programs and set up numerous telescopes to view planets, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, the moon and the sun.

National parks such as Grand Canyon provide some of the last remaining dark skies in this country. Weather permitting, visitors can expect spectacular views of the universe.

On the South Rim, events include a slide show nightly at 8 p.m. in the Grand Canyon Visitor Center theater then a telescope viewing behind the building. The slide show is open seating and doors open at 7:40 p.m. Organizers will offer green-laser constellation tours at 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Parking is available in Lots 1 through 4 or attendees may arrive by the free Village Route shuttle bus, which runs until 11 p.m. Telescope viewing is best after 9 p.m. 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.

Every evening on the North Rim, the Grand Canyon porch will have telescopes available for viewing.

The NPS, Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix, in collaboration with the Grand Canyon Association (GCA) put on the event.

Additional information is available at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/grand-canyon-star-party.htm.

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