Grand Canyon Star Party, June 9-16, 2018

Due to its dark skies and clean air, Grand Canyon offers one of the best night sky observing sites in the United States.

For eight days in June, park visitors explore the wonders of the night sky on Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and on the North Rim with the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix. Amateur astronomers from across the country volunteer their expertise and offer free nightly astronomy programs and telescope viewing.

Through the telescopes you might view an assortment of planets, double stars, star clusters, nebulae and distant galaxies by night, and perhaps the Sun or Venus by day. At the 2018 Star Party, Jupiter and Saturn will be evening highlights, but you might find an astronomer pointing a telescope at Venus in the early evening. Mars will rise just after 11 pm for those staying late in to the evening.

Experience spectacular views of the universe!

Dress warmly. Temperatures drop quickly after sunset—even during summer months.

On the South Rim

Events include a slide show nightly at 8 pm, followed by telescope viewing behind Grand Canyon Visitor Center. 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. 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. 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.

On the North Rim

On the North Rim, telescopes will be set up on the porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge every evening. An astronomy slide show will be presented at 8:30 in the auditorium of the Grand Canyon Lodge. Green laser tours are also given, mostly spontaneously throughout the evening. By day, solar observing is ongoing at the veranda, the Visitor Center and the General Store by the campground. Check the Visitor Center and park bulletin boards for slide show subjects and speakers.