The Grand Canyon Is Hosting A Virtual Star Party This Week

updated Jun 17, 2020
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horseshoe bend at twilight
Credit: anthony heflin/

Though we’re already halfway through the week, it’s not too late to tune into the annual Grand Canyon National Park “Star Party.” The event, which is normally held on-site in Arizona, has gone virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which means everyone can get in on the fun this year, regardless of location. So, are you ready to get star crazy this week? Here’s what’s on the docket.

Every night through June 20, the Grand Canyon National Park is posting two new videos to their Facebook page for partygoers. So far, guest speakers like Dr. John Barentine, Director of Public Policy at the International Dark-Sky Association, talked about light pollution during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Dr. Danielle Adams, Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications at the Lowell Observatory gave a presentation on Ancient Arabic constellations which can be seen in our summer night skies.

Then, after the guest speakers, partygoers can tune into the second video of the night, which is the official “Virtual Grand Canyon Star Party” session, during which astronomers connect video cameras to their telescopes and point out 10 to 12 celestial objects over the course of 60 to 90 minutes.

Kevin LeGore, from Focus Astronomy, led the Star Party session last night, June 16.

You can RSVP to the Grand Canyon Star Party by heading over to the Facebook event page. There, you’ll find the lineup of upcoming events and you’ll also have access to previous Star Party videos from the beginning of the week.

Each of the guest speaker videos begins at 6 p.m. PT, and the astronomer-led Star Party videos start at 7 p.m. PT. So mark your calendar and set your alarms. This may just be the brightest party of the year.