Kanab’s Stellar Vista Observatory (SVO) invites Kane County residents who are fascinated with our brilliant star-filled night skies to join others in a worldwide celebration of International Dark Sky Week. On April 7 and April 9, SVO will host two telescope and binocular training events for the first 12 families or individuals to sign up for these free activities. Go to https://stellarvistaobservatory.org/discover-the-night-sky/ to reserve your free telescope or binocular and tripod observing kit for one of the two sessions.
Residents who own their own astronomy equipment are also welcome to attend and participate in these special training sessions. You’ll learn how to set up, care for and manually operate a portable telescope or powerful tripod mounted binocular, learn about the constellations, as well as locate and observe objects of interest in the vast night sky. Each session will include a brief demonstration of night sky friendly outdoor lighting to inform residents as to how they can help preserve the visibility of Kanab’s spectacular starry night skies.
For these special events, SVO will set up its six astronomy kits procured through a grant from the Governor’s Office of Outdoor Recreation with matching funds from the Kane County Office of Tourism. Each participating family will be given observational equipment to use. Children as young as 12 may receive hands-on telescope training when accompanied by parent. Appropriate Covid 19 precautions will be taken and required of all participants.
Wednesday, April 7, the training will occur at the KCWCD Boat Launch parking area, two miles south of Kanab at Jackson Flat Reservoir. On Friday, April 9, the training session will move to the ‘Zion View Star Field’ on BLM land off US 89, 10 miles north of Kanab just beyond the 6100 foot Summit where the sky is exceptionally dark. Directions will be given upon registering for the training.
The best celestial observing targets for the week of April 5 will be provided. Training sessions begin on location one-half hour after sunset. These activities will go forward even if skies are partly cloudy. High wind or rain would force cancellation and re-scheduling. Visit Facebook/StellarVistaObservatory for a last minute update if the weather looks iffy.