Montrose’s Black Canyon National Park & Astronomical Society Invite Visitors to See Stars This Summer

Unleash the inner Galileo at a Black Canyon "star party"

By: By Mackenzie Maher

Black Canyon // (c) 2010

Black Canyon // (c) 2010

There is a lot of talk about Hollywood stars these days but, this summer, the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, the Black Canyon Astronomical Society and the Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism invite visitors to tune in to luminaries of another nature – Mother Nature that is.

The Montrose area, situated in southwest Colorado offers numerous opportunities to unleash the Galileo inside; the Black Canyon, located just outside of Montrose, is considered a dark sky site because there is very little stray light or light pollution to impair star viewing. According to John Pool, vice president of the Black Canyon Astronomical Society, the best time of the year to stargaze is late spring to early fall because of the milder temperatures that exist during this timeframe. That’s why, this summer, the Black Canyon Astronomical Society and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are teaming up to give stargazers an opportunity to take advantage of the regions enchanting stellar views by offering free “star parties” at the park amphitheatre and campground.

Typically starting at 9 p.m., star parties include a short interpretive program by a national park service expert, a telescopic viewing of star clusters and galaxies, constellation tours and plenty of time for questions. The programs are a great way to learn about constellations like the Big Dipper, the Swan and Leo the Lion. Join in the fun on June 30; July 7, 14 and 28; and August 4, 11, 18 and 25. Parking at the amphitheatre is limited, so participants are encouraged to carpool to the park.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park


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