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Grand Canyon Star Party, June 17-24 2017

Discussion in 'Star Parties, Clubs, and Outreach Events' started by Jim O'Connor, Jan 11, 2017.

Grand Canyon Star Party, June 17-24 2017

Started by Jim O'Connor on Jan 11, 2017 at 6:55 PM

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  1. Jim O'Connor

    Jim O'Connor Active Member

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    Tremendous apologies for being so late getting this information out there, but major health issues and other adventures over the last six months got in the way. Here goes.

    The 27th annual Grand Canyon Star Party (GCSP) will be held the nights of June 17 through 24, 2017, in northern Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park. GCSP is an annual collaboration between the National Park Service and astronomers from around North America to bring astronomy outreach to Park visitors. New Moon will be near the end of the week, making for dark skies for this year.

    Amateur astronomers with a telescope and love of the sky to share, and the interested public of all ages, are invited to experience the beautiful Arizona nights in an exploration of the heavenly Grand Canyon skies. Not an astronomer? Drop in for an unforgettable and fabulous vacation for families, singles, and seniors.

    GCSP will be held concurrently on both the North and South Rims. Visitors to the park are free to show up at their leisure, and observe through any or all telescopes. Astronomers choosing to set up for the event need to register in advance with the appropriate coordinator below. The South Rim can accommodate 80 or more telescopes, and we have not had to limit South Rim attendance thus far. The ten or so North Rim slots on the Lodge veranda, however, usually are accounted for by the end of February.

    In general, volunteer astronomers are responsible for securing their own lodging, and, due to the nature of the venues for both rims, telescopes generally need to be set up and taken down each night. Please see the North Rim site for unique arrangements for that venue. For the South Rim, we have space reserved for larger instruments, and a second reserved area at the entrance for live video setups, that may be left in place for the duration.

    Visitor attendance at the Grand Canyon National Park has increased by 50% over the last three years, and lodging has become difficult to get more than four or five months in advance. In fact, Trailer Village has been filled for the June event as early as January for the last two years. If you are planning to attend, make reservations at the earliest opportunity. Accommodation information can be found at the web sites below.

    Web sites and contact information are shown below. Please contact Steve for the North Rim, or me for the South Rim, if you are interested in attending or for questions you might have. Note the dates on the two web sites below and some other information are still 2015 related, so please be patient until they get updated.

    North Rim

    http://www.saguaroastro.org/content/2017GrandCanyonStarPartyNorthRim.htm

    Steve Dodder
    Coordinator, North Rim, Grand Canyon Star Party
    53750 W. Prickley Pear Rd.
    Maricopa, AZ 85239

    E-mail: fester00 [at] hotmail.com
    Phone:602-390-0118

    South Rim

    http://tucsonastronomy.org/upcoming-events/grand-canyon-star-party/

    Jim O’Connor
    Coordinator, South Rim, Grand Canyon Star Party
    P.O. Box 457
    Cortaro, AZ 85652
    E-mail: gcsp [at] tucsonastronomy.org
    Phone: 520 546-2961
     
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  2. Zigarro

    Zigarro Well-Known Member

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    When I was a youngster in the early 60s, we rode mules to the floor of the Palo Duro (Texas' version of the Grand Canyon in miniature). I visited the G/C as a babe in my mother's arms in 1953 and though I've visited family in southern Az. many times, I haven't made it back up north. I bet the skies up there are wondrous!
     
  3. Jim O'Connor

    Jim O'Connor Active Member

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    Yes, the skies certainly can be wondrous! The South Rim star party site is a bit about 7000 feet altitude, and the North Rim site on the veranda of the Grand Canyon Lodge is over 8000 feet. The humidity can be under 20%, so the transparency is incredible along with the very dark skies. Several years ago we checked with an SQM and got a magnitude that was, at worst on three nights of 6.5, and two other nights at 6.9, the rest at 6.7 and 6.8. Many nights are possible to see at least 20 Messier objects naked eye. Come join us some time!
     
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  4. Zigarro

    Zigarro Well-Known Member

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    Sounds incredible and maybe one day I can, but just now, I can't even get back to Palo Duro and I only live 120 miles away.
    Sure hope y'all have a great response to the party!
     
  5. Jim O'Connor

    Jim O'Connor Active Member

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    Thanks! We do have great response. Most nights on the South Rim we will have over 1,400 visitors, and about 55 astronomers. About 120 astronomers will serve at least one night with the public, and if we count one astronomer and one visitor as a contact, each year we end up with over 70,000 visitor contacts.

    I hope you can join us some year. We always have plenty of room!
     
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