A Week Of Virtual Stargazing, Hosted By The Grand Canyon National Park
City-dwelling amateur astronomers and stargazers can now spend the night among the stars without leaving the house, thanks to the Grand Canyon National Park’s virtual dark skies series.
The Grand Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon Conservancy will be hosting the inaugural Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party 2020 this week, featuring a series of lectures and live astronomer-guided telescope viewings.
The annual bash would be celebrating its 30th consecutive on-site event this year in Arizona’s expansive natural wonder, but due to travel limitations and park closures in response to Covid-19, the park’s conservancy is instead reaching astronomy enthusiasts digitally with an online stargazing experience.
Every day this week until June 20, the Grand Canyon National Park will share two new videos on their Facebook page. The first video will feature one of the eight guest speakers from the Star Party Speakers Series panel, with each speaker presenting their lecture over a Facebook live feed.
The second video will be the Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party, which will show astronomers connecting video cameras to their telescopes to share between 10 and 12 “celestial objects” during the hour-long stream.
The virtual star parties are led by the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and Focus Astronomy, while speakers include astrophysicist Dr. Amber Straughn, night sky photographer Shreenivasan Manievannan, and Vishnu Reddy, associate professor of planetary sciences at the lunar and planetary laboratory, at the University of Arizona in Tucson.