FREDONIA, Ariz. — If traveling through the North Kaibab Ranger District on June 9 through 16, you are invited to come to experience the dark skies of the Kaibab Plateau during this year’s annual Star Party, hosted by the Kaibab Lodge, Kaibab National Forest, and the Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC).
Viewing will begin after dark each night, and astronomers from the Saguaro Astronomy Club will be on hand with telescopes to help visitors navigate the night sky each evening. This is a great event for children, as the SAC will have a lecture each evening around dinner time. Previous lecture themes featured discussions about light pollution and the planets.
The dark of the moon falls on Wednesday this year, so visitors can expect beautiful sights up in the night sky. On a clear summer night, you can see the Milky Way as a beautiful gossamer ribbon across the sky. Combine this with getting to see nebulas, planets and globular clusters and you have the experience to remember for a lifetime.
"In junior college back east, I took an astronomy class as the school had a planetarium. On the last day of our class, the professor showed us what the night skies looked like from a mountaintop in Arizona. It was amazing; I had no idea all that was up there. All mouths dropped open. Now I live under that sky and would love to share it with you,” said Ellen Winchester, Kaibab Lodge owner and event host.
Winchester will also have triple chocolate star party cookies available. Dubbed “Deep Dark Secrets on a Starry Night,” they will be available in regular and gluten-free varieties. Guests are reminded to dress warmly. At nearly 8,700 feet in elevation, it still gets quite chilly at night – even during the summer, and guest using flashlights are reminded to please use a red lens or red automotive tape over the top of the flashlight, as this will be helpful for night vision for everyone.
For more information, please call 928-638-2389 or visit http://www.kaibablodge.com/events.htm.
Information provided by Kaibab National Forest.