ARIZONA STATE PARKS: For Immediate Release
Managing and conserving Arizona’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our Parks and through our Partners. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Bilbrey at (602) 542-1996 or (602) 228-8518 or Monica Enriquez at (602) 542-6997. Contact by Email: pio(at)azstateparks.gov

View the Night Skies with Telescopes; Star Party Series at State Parks in October and November

(Phoenix, Arizona - September 25, 2013) - Arizona State Parks will host "Star Party" events at State Parks in October and November. Visitors can view the night skies through telescopes and learn about astronomy. Details about each event are below.

Saturday, October 5 at Kartchner Caverns State Park: The evening starts out with a Ranger-led hike from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Hike participants please RSVP to reservations(at)azstateparks.gov. The hike will be followed by the Night Sky Preservation talk in the Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. After the presentation observe the night sky through telescopes in the parking area near the Discovery Center. The event is supported by the Huachuca Astronomy Club of Southeast Arizona. At 5:30 pm, Steve Kortenkamp, an astronomer at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, will present a talk "Exploring the Smallest Objects in Space." His research involves computer simulations of the interaction between planets and small bodies like asteroids and comets. Kortenkamp is also an accomplished children's author who has written 21 science books for children in grades K-5.

Saturday, October 26 at Catalina State Park: Join us for an exploration of the wonders of the night sky through astronomers' telescopes at 6 p.m. Astronomers will answer questions and discuss the elements of the night sky as darkness descends. Participants should meet at the Main trailhead parking lot. When the night sky arrives, astronomers will volunteer their expertise and telescopes for visitors to view an assortment of night sky attractions including planets, star clusters, galaxies and nebulae. Participants should bring a folding chair, red light (to protect everyone's night vision), sweater or jacket (temperatures will drop quickly after sunset) and enthusiasm to enjoy and conserve our beautiful night skies!

Saturday, November 2 at Alamo Lake State Park: Observe the wonders of the night sky through astronomers' telescopes at the 7th Annual Night Under the Stars Star Party. Please note that no flash photos are allowed after dark to protect everyone's night vision. Please bring a red flashlight or for a small donation mini-red LED flashlights will be available at the event.

Saturday, November 9 at Red Rock State Park: Amateur stargazers are invited to a viewing and the evening will also include a presentation by JD Maddy, president of the Astronomers of the Verde Valley, starting at 7:15 p.m. Those attending the stargazing event should bring comfort items such as folding chairs, warm clothes, bottled water and snacks. Visitors may also bring a flashlight but rangers ask that it have a red lens or be covered with red cellophane to minimize light interference with viewing scopes. The event will be held in the Twin Cypress picnic area near the Park entrance.

Kartchner Caverns State Park's Entrance Fee for this event is $6 per vehicle but is waived with a reservation for a tour. Full hookup camping sites are available at a fee of $25 per night. Kartchner Caverns State Park is located on Highway 90, nine miles south of I-10 near Benson, Arizona. The guided tours inside the cave are $22.95 for adults aged 14 and older and $12.95 for children aged 7 to 13. Children aged 6 and younger are free for the Rotunda/Throne Room.

Catalina State Park's Entrance Fee is $7 per vehicle (up to four adults). Primitive to full hookup camping sites are available at a fee of $15 to $25 depending on the type of camping site needed. Catalina State Park is located on State Highway 77 (Oracle Road) at mile marker 81, just nine miles north of Tucson and six miles north of Ina Road.

Red Rock State Park's Entrance Fee is $10 per vehicle for up to four adults. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Red Rock State Park is located at 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road in Sedona, AZ.

Alamo Lake State Park's Entrance fee is $7 per vehicle. Primitive to full hookup camping sites
are available at a fee of $15 to $25 per night depending on the type of camping site needed. The
Park is located 38 miles north of Wenden and US 60. Wenden is two hours west of Phoenix north of I-10.

Camping is available at all of these parks except Red Rock State Park. Reservations for camping or cave tours can be made 24-hours-a-day at AZStateParks.com or by calling (520) 586-2283 between 8am and 5pm (Mountain Standard Time) seven days per week.

For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703). Campsite or cave tour reservations can be made online at AZStateParks.com or by calling the Reservation Call Center at (520) 586-2283. Open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Follow AZStateParks on Twitter and Facebook.

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