Backyard Observatory

The Grand Canyon National Park Is Hosting a Week of Virtual Stargazing

Since you can't see it IRL right now.

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For the past 30 years, the Grand Canyon National Park and Grand Canyon Conservancy have hosted a week-long stargazing affair for thousands of visitors passing through. But with the current global health crisis (reminder: the pandemic is still very much a thing), the annual event has gone virtual. 

So while it's a bummer to not catch the stars IRL, at least we can stream them. Every day through Saturday, June 20, the Grand Canyon will post two live videos to its official Facebook page: a daily panel of astronomers and scholars as part of the park's Star Party Speaker Series, followed by an hour and a half live stargazing session. 

"Typically we get thousands of visitors, but with the COVID situation as it is right now, we’re excited for this opportunity to still be able to have the star party virtually," Grand Canyon National Park spokesperson Joelle Baird said, according to The Spectrum.

The series' guests will be able to answer questions through a live chat while developing "realtime astrophotographs before your eyes of galaxies, nebulae, globular clusters, asterisms, and much more," the park website reads. Astronomers will hook video cameras to their telescopes, so you can get view the celestial objects in real time along with them. 

Videos will premiere at 6pm PDT and 7pm PDT, including presentations from astrophysicist Dr. Amber Straughn and night sky photographer Shreenivasan Manievannan, among other experts. The entire schedule is available online with direct links, so you won't miss an event. 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.