One of the most popular Grand Canyon activities is star-gazing. The National Park is home to some of the darkest nights and clearest air to be found.
Constellations and planets which are not usually visible, or are very difficult to make out, can be seen much more clearly from Grand Canyon National Park. These include being able to view Saturn during the night, and Mercury during the day.
The area is home to a number of scientific installations, including the Atmospheric Research Observatory in Flagstaff, and the Flandrau Science Center in Tucson. Both attractions offer free admission to visitors, telescopic star viewing, and experts on hand to answer questions.
For a modest fee, visitors can also visit the Challenger Space Center in Peoria, and the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. Lowell Observatory was where Pluto was discovered, and is a National Registered Historic Landmark.
To take in this Grand Canyon attraction with others of like interest, there are also occasionally planned stargazing parties. One such annual party is coming up between June 8th and 15th.
During this period, the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association sets up approximately 60 telescopes on the Grand Canyon South Rim, and the Saguaro Astronomy Club sets up approximately 12 telescopes on the Higher North Rim. Rangers and professional astronomers are also on hand, giving free talks and explanations. All of this is free of charge, once entry to the park has been paid.
The Star Party is coming soon! Make your arrangements, night sky lovers, and we hope to see you there!