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Milkyway viewing @ south rim GCNP and Page

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
14 posts
1 review
Milkyway viewing @ south rim GCNP and Page


Will be visiting GCNP and Page on 17 Sep to 19 Sep. What is the possibilty to see milkyway. And which part of GCNP is the best for stargazing

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3 replies to this topic
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
40 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Milkyway viewing @ south rim GCNP and Page

Hello, you should have no problem finding a spot to stargaze as long as the weather cooperates. The Grand Canyon is so remote from any city lights that the Milky Way should shine brightly anywhere in the park that you can find a clearing. Safe travels and I hope you enjoy your stay at the Grand Canyon!

North Carolina
Level Contributor
2,103 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Milkyway viewing @ south rim GCNP and Page


On the nights of September 17 to 19 the moon will be illuminated from 60% to 77% as it approaches full moon on September 25. The moon will be above the horizon and located near the central core of the Milky Way ~ 1.5 hrs following Sunset each night. Thus, any advantage of viewing the Milky Way from the Grand Canyon is lost because of the illumination and the proximity of the illuminated moon to the Milky Way. It is not that you will not see the Milky Way but that it will be dimmed by the moonlight. Also, during September the central core of the Milky Way arches vertically from the S to SW each night. Thus, you need a location with a Southern exposure. A place in the South Rim would be the Mather Point Parking Lot. The Milky Way Central core will not be visible from other locations in the park because as the night progresses the central core will slip below the horizon to the South - Southwest.

Although Milky Way viewing may be dim you can still see planets and the International Space Station (ISS) during your visit. Shortly after Sunset each night go to the Mather Point Parking lot and as the sky begins to darken look for the planets from the West where the Sun had just set to the East: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn (the Moon), and Mars (red) along the Ecliptic plane.

The ISS can be seen 2x during your visit above the horizon but you must be looking towards the South:

1) On September 18 in the evening @ 19:20:22 due South near the horizon until 19:22:05

2) On September 19 in the morning @ 05:07:21 SSW horizon moving due South until 05:11:22

Additionally, the City of Page has a wicked light dome and you need to know where to go to see dark sky. One place interesting enough is the Upper Antelope Canyon looking to the East towards dark sky. But you need a guide to access and the moon will be up anyways.

Clear Sky!

Edited: 01 August 2018, 23:39
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
14 posts
1 review
3. Re: Milkyway viewing @ south rim GCNP and Page

THank both for the advice.

@ swimfann thats alot of info. Thank you for the details. Shall plan accordingly. :)

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