Kanab's Stellar Vista Observatory hosting two star parties for the 2021 Southwest Astronomy Festival
by Rich Csenge
Join members of Kanab’s nonprofit Stellar Vista Observatory (SVO) for a Constellation Tour and Star Party – Friday, September 10, 8 p.m., Jackson Flat Reservoir Boat Launch, Kaneplex Drive, Kanab. This location is close to town with restrooms. Learn how to operate a portable telescope or powerful tripod mounted binocular, or, bring your own and join the fun!
Under a grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and assisted by Kane County, SVO lends out night sky observing kits free to all residents of Kane County. SVO’s September star parties for the 2021 Southwest Astronomy Festival will feature instruction in the use of its Discover the Night Sky program observing kits. Find out about SVO’s plans to build an educational astronomical observatory in Kanab for public enjoyment of the night sky at www.stellarvistaobservatory.org.
SVO repeats the program in an especially dark location on Saturday, September 11, 8 p.m., at its ‘Zion View’ star field, located on BLM land at the west end of old Hwy. 89, 13 miles north of Kanab, near the 6100 foot summit and Diana’s Throne. This unimproved site is at the opposite end of a six mile improved dirt road from BLM’s Peekaboo Trailhead. (Being the old Hwy. 89 running parallel to the paved highway.) No facilities or restrooms; just a wonderfully starry sky! To keep our families safe from Covid, masks are required at each location for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
In these two events, SVO collaborates with the National Park Service, which is hosting the 2021 Southwest Astronomy Festival, Friday, September 10, continuing daily through Sunday, September 12. The festival features a variety of free programs and activities presented by Grand Canyon Parashant and Cedar Breaks National Monuments, highlighting the amazing dark night sky in and around southwestern Utah and northern Arizona.
Most 2021 festival programs and activities are slated for Washington and Iron counties during the day and at night throughout the weekend. SVO’s star parties in Kane County are the exception. Participants can attend lectures, star parties, an open house at the Ashcroft Observatory, traditional storytelling, a portable planetarium, solar viewing, night sky photography workshops and more.
For a complete listing of the locations, times, and more details, please visit www.nps.gov/cebr/. ;