Virtual stargazing is about as much fun as virtual hiking. After months of virtual substitutes, we’re ready for the real thing. Sadly, in many cases that’s simply not possible, or safe, so for a little while longer we’ll have to settle for the online version of our favorite activities — and that includes stargazing. Nothing’s stopping you from going out to your backyard and looking up at the stars, but if you want to experience the Grand Canyon’s annual Star Party this year, you’ll have to tune in online.
Since Grand Canyon National Park is closed due to the coronavirus lockdown, its 30th annual Grand Canyon Star Party must be held online. Every day from June 13 to June 20, the national park will post two live videos on its Facebook page. The first is a presentation from a guest speaker, and the second is a livestream from astronomers’ telescopes, with narration describing what you’re looking at in real-time.
The Facebook page invites viewers to “join the astronomers as they develop real-time astronomical photographs before your eyes of galaxies, nebulae, globular clusters, asterisms, and much more.”
The presentation videos go live at 6:00 PM Pacific, and celestial live streams at 7:00 PM Pacific. Tonight’s presentation (June 16) will feature a demonstration of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope by astrophysicist Dr. Amber Straughn. Tomorrow will include a photography lesson from night sky photographer Shreenivasan Manievannan. Check out the schedule of events on the event’s Facebook page.