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Mon, June 14

Grand Canyon announces Astronomer-in-Residence applications available now

The Milky Way Galaxy fills the night sky above a telescope viewing area illuminated by red lights on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. (Photo/NPS)

The Milky Way Galaxy fills the night sky above a telescope viewing area illuminated by red lights on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. (Photo/NPS)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) has announced applications are now available for the 2020 Astronomer-in -Residence program.

The Astronomer-in-Residence program offers professional and amateur astronomers, educators, scientists, writers and visual and performing artists the opportunity to practice and share their discipline under one of the most pristine night skies in the United States.

“Through artwork and educational outreach, the program inspires park visitors about the values of dark night skies, spreads awareness about the threats of light pollution and explores society’s complex relationships with natural darkness,” the park stated recently on its Facebook page.

According to GCNP, the program is similar to other Artist-in-Residence programs hosted by various national parks around the country.

In the Astronomer in Residence Program, the park hosts a chosen applicant on-site for a short-term residency, usually between three to six weeks. The difference between the two programs is the focus. The Astronomer in Residence program primarily focuses on night skies, astronomy and the various disciplines studying natural darkness. The Artist-in-Residence program, which is being offered at Grand Canyon for the first time in four years, provides accomplished, professional artists time and space to explore and develop significant work.

Night skies and astronomy at Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is located high on the Colorado Plateau, far from the lights of large cities, in the dry desert southwest. Combined with the clean air and clear skies, Grand Canyon National Park protects some of the most pristine night skies in the United States.

In 2019, Grand Canyon National Park was certified as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association. Later that year, the park received the award for International Dark Sky Place of the Year. These distinctions were the culmination of a long history of night sky appreciation at Grand Canyon National Park.

More informatiom about the program and how to apply is available at www.nps.gov/grca/astronomer-in-residence.

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