Star Party at Kartchner Caverns!

Kartchner Caverns State Park

Saturday, October 19, 2019   2 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Want to learn more about the stars and planets? Do you have any little ones curious about the cosmos? Then head to Kartchner Caverns, an International Dark Sky Park, for a star party!

Star parties are popular draws for people who want to take advantage of the chance to learn from knowledgeable and experienced local astronomers. Who knows what will be in the sky?

Our speaker Tom Kaye will invite the audience to act as a NASA funding committee and decide if they should add a laser to the next Mars rover. He will demonstrate cutting edge science examples using a small laser to make minerals fluoresce and literally glow in the dark. Minerals in normal light may all look the same but under florescence look very different and can reveal hidden secrets. Tom has been around the world, shining his laser on many famous fossils, revealing previously unknown soft tissues which has changed how we see these ancient animals. His laser has investigated formations found in local caves around southern Arizona including Kartchner Caverns. For the first time his instruments can make the entire cavern glow showing growth sequences and unusual features that require further investigation. All of these examples demonstrate the possibilities for its use on Mars including flying over the surface on a Martian drone. Attendees will see visually stunning and scientifically interesting pictures like you have never seen before.

Volunteers from the Huachuca Astronomy Club will be setting up telescopes in the bus loading zone of the parking lot.


2pm: Solar viewing

5:30pm: Guest presentation in the Discovery Center

After dark: Star gazing

$7/vehicle, no charge for campers or visitors who have taken a cave tour that day. Dress appropriately for the weather. Bring a red light flashlight or ask a ranger for a filter. 

Viewing may be cancelled due to inclement weather.