16157
Arizona
Grand Canyon Star Party: Astronomy at the Edge of the Universe
Turn down the lights and get ready to party! At the Grand Canyon Star Party, you’ll meet astronomers, have access to more than 40 high powered telescopes and explore Meteor Crater.
Rating (5)
Program No. 16157RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,099
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 3 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Flagstaff, AZ
D
La Quinta Inn & Suites Flagstaff

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 PM. Walk two blocks each way for dinner

Afternoon: Hotel check-in after 3 PM, register with program coordinator in hotel meeting room or lobby between 5 - 5:30 PM, orientation and introductions 5:30 - 7 PM.Orientation: The Group Leaders will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. All field trips will be led by our Group Leaders, seasoned and experienced naturalists unless specified otherwise.All classroom discussions will be led by experts in their fields. Transportation will be in either vans or a motorcoach, depending on group size. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances including weather. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Plated Dinner at a local restaurant, with unlimited salad bar and a non alcoholic beverage.

Evening: Evening at leisure.

DAY
2
Lowell Observatory, Archaeo-Astronomy
Flagstaff, AZ
B,L,D
La Quinta Inn & Suites Flagstaff

Activity note: Short drives within Flagstaff. Optional walk to NAU Campus 3/4 mile; Walk 200 yards to Lunch; Walking tour around Lowell Observatory with some standing

Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the hotel to include waffles, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, muffins, juices, milk and coffee.

Morning: After breakfast, shuttle or walk to NAU for the morning presentation on "Our Place in the Universe". This lecture will give an overview of the Universe from its origins, the "Big Bang Theory", to how stars are born, the creation of our solar system, and current discoveries/thoughts on subjects such as dark matter, string theory, and more.

Lunch: Walk 200 yards to lunch at the south campus University dining facility. Enjoy a wide selection of items including a salad and soup bar, sandwich bar, pastas, hot chicken sandwiches, mexican wraps, and more.

Afternoon: For the afternoon we have a field trip to Lowell Observatory for a walking history tour. We will see the 24 inch Clark Telescope that Percival Lowell used to study Mars, the Pluto Discovery Scope, the Rotunda and the Exhibit Hall. Founded in 1894 by astronomer Percival Lowell, the Observatory is among the oldest observatories in the United States and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. The Observatory's original 24-inch Alvan Clark Telescope is still in use today for public education. Also located on the Mars Hill campus is the 13-inch (0.33-meter) Pluto Discovery Telescope, used by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 to discover the dwarf planet Pluto. Lowell Observatory has recently built the 4.2-meter Discovery Channel Telescope in partnership with Discovery Communications, Inc.

Dinner: Plated dinner at a local restaurant with salad and a non alcoholic beverage. Alcoholic beverages available for purchase.

Evening: The evening presentation will be on the night sky, telescopes or another topic of interest.

DAY
3
Meteor Crater, NASA Projects
Flagstaff, AZ
B,L,D
La Quinta Inn & Suites Flagstaff

Activity note: Drive about 45 minutes and 45 miles one way to Meteor Crater. One mile guided walk along rim of Meteor Crater. drive back to Flagstaff.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast, travel to Meteor Crater. Meteor Crater is lauded as the first proven and best preserved meteor impact site on earth. Participants can go on an optional one mile guided tour of the crater rim and walk a portion of its 2.4 mile circumference, or view the crater from the accessible platform. Opportunities to visualize the impact event can be enjoyed when visiting the sites impressive museum and watching the 80' wide movie theatre screen. The museum also houses numerous interactive exhibits and on display is the largest chunk discovered of the several hundred thousand ton meteor. Return to Flagstaff in time for lunch.

Lunch: Lunch at the south campus University dining facility.

Afternoon: Following lunch, enjoy two presentations. The first is a discussion on current NASA projects, its space station and humans in space. Following a short break, the presentation will be on archaeo-astronomy in the Southwest: what did the ancestral puebloans know about the night sky, how did they know it and how did we know that they knew it.

Dinner: Plated dinner at a local restaurant with salad and a non alcoholic beverage. Alcoholic beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After dinner, the choices are yours for a free evening. Explore historic downtown Flagstaff, visit Northern Arizona University, or relax as you like.

DAY
4
Geology, Desert View Watchtower
Grand Canyon Village (S Rim)
B,L,D
Yavapai Lodge West

Activity note: Drive about 110 miles and 2 1/5 hours to Grand Canyon, with several stops along the way. Several short walks at Grand Canyon viewpoints, after dark walk around telescope viewing area at Mather Point

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: The morning presentation will be on Geology of the Grand Canyon. Following the presentation we will board the bus or vans for the trip to the Grand Canyon - first stop being the old Cameron Trading Post set on the edge of the Little Colorado River and at the western edge of the Navajo Reservation with some time to explore and stretch your legs. Set on the banks of the seasonally dry Little Colorado River, the Trading Post is a welcomed rest stop. In addition to a beautiful hidden garden, an in-house Navajo rug weaver, and interesting stone architecture drawing from the various influences of the region. Cameron Trading Post's Gallery shop exhibits museum quality pieces.

Lunch: Plated lunch in the Cameron Trading Post dining room. one non-alcoholic beverage included.

Afternoon: After lunch at the trading post, we climb up the Colorado Plateau to the eastern entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park at Desert View. Walk 200 yards to the Desert View Watchtower. The Watchtower was designed by Mary Colter in 1932 to resemble the watchtowers of the ancestral puebloans. Time permitting, the shuttle then follows the eastern expanse of the South Rim, stopping at Yavapai Point to view the expansive sight of 6 million years of geologic development. Late afternoon check-in at a south rim Grand Canyon lodge (usually either Maswik or Yavapai lodge).

Dinner: Plated dinner at the Cafe of our South Rim lodge. One non-alcoholic beverage included. other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After dinner will be the first of our two nights of the Grand Canyon Star Party. Begin with a talk relating to a current astronomical topic or related research. Once things get dark, stroll the unlit parking lot of Mather Point on the South Rim where approximately 40 telescopes are pointed at the skies above. Each telescope is set up by an amateur astronomer who is more than willing to share their passion. With the limited light pollution of the Grand Canyon, you will see more than you can imagine! There will also be "green laser pointer" tours of the constellations.

DAY
5
Grand Canyon Hike Along the Rim, Grand Canyon Star Party
Grand Canyon Village (S Rim)
B,D
Yavapai Lodge West

Activity note: One mile guided history walk around Grand Canyon Village; Free afternoon to explore Grand Canyon; Return to Mather Point for another evening of the Grand Canyon Star Party

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Grand Canyon Lodge Cafe. Options include scrambled eggs, pancakes, french toast, sausage, bacon, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juices, milk, coffee and more.

Morning: After breakfast. Go on a guided tour of the Grand Canyon Village Historic District, followed by free time to explore the village or walk along the rim or explore the canyon.

Lunch: Lunch on your own at the Grand Canyon. This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time in the Canyon to explore on your own. Now is your chance to try a short hike into the canyon along the famed Bright angel Trail, take a park service shuttle to one of the majestic West Rim viewpoints, tour the many historic building and shops of the Grand Canyon Village, or just find a quiet place on the rim and contemplate this world wonder.

Dinner: Dinner at the Cafe of our Grand Canyon lodge.

Evening: After dinner will be the second of our two nights of the Grand Canyon Star Party. Begin with either a talk relating to a current astronomical topic or related research or walk out to the rim at Mather Point and watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon. Once things get dark, stroll the unlit parking lot of Mather Point on the South Rim where approximately 40 large telescopes are pointed at the skies above. Each telescope is set up by an amateur astronomer who is more than willing to share their passion. With the limited light pollution of the Grand Canyon, you will see more than you can imagine! There will also be "green laser pointer" tours of the constellations.

DAY
6
Return to Flagstaff, Program Concludes
Deaprtures
B

Activity note: Drive 90 miles and 1 1/2 hour to Flagstaff. Departures.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Cafe of our Grand Canyon lodge.

Morning: Load Luggage at 8AM, then depart to Flagstaff. Program ends in Flagstaff by 10:30 AM at the starting hotel after program wrap-up.






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