More than the Moon, Night Sky Exploration at Chiricahua National Monument

More than the Moon, Night Sky Exploration at Chiricahua National Monument
Stars in the night sky

COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Enjoy a night under the stars at the Chiricahua National Monument in Cochise County next weekend.

In partnership with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, staff at the Chiricahua NM is hosting the special event on Saturday, March 23 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Echo Canyon parking lot, which is located 7.5 miles beyond the park entrance.

Several telescopes will be set up for visitors to focus on the night sky.

Arrive early and enjoy an illustrated talk "What's to see up there?" with event organizer Jim Knoll from TAAA at 6:30 p.m. in the Bonita Canyon Campground Amphitheater. This is a chance for guests to learn what they will be looking at.

“Chiricahua NM is known for its dramatic dark sky due to the lack of light pollution from local urban areas,” stated Knoll in a news release. “Participants can expect to see the planets, Venus and Uranus, galaxies millions of light years away, multiple star systems, a star nursery, remnants of a star that exploded 1,000 years ago, and many other fascinating objects.”

Planning on attending? Reminders - dress warmly, bring drinks, snacks and a portable chair or blanket ot sit on, as well as a flashlight with a red filter (if possible).

There will be limited shuttle services from the visitor center parking lot at 7 p.m. and the Bonita Canyon Campground restrooms at 7:15 p.m.

Call the visitor center staff at 520-824-3560 x9302 to register for this shuttle. The Echo Canyon parking lot is 5.5 miles beyond the visitor center, for those interested in driving themselves to the event.

Chiricahua NM is located four miles east of the AZ HWY 181 and 186 junction, and 37 miles southeast of Willcox.

Check www.nps.gov/chir for more park information, or call the visitor center staff at 520-824-3560 ext. 9302.

For details about the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, visit www.tucsonastronomy.org.

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