Rock/Stars in 2015

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Answers in Genesis, in conjunction with Canyon Ministries, sponsors raft trips through Grand Canyon. We have five trips scheduled next year. I am delighted to be a guide on one of these trips. The Astronomy Special, or “Geology by Day, Astronomy by Night,” is a seven-day trip June 14–20, 2015. This will be my sixth Grand Canyon raft trip, and my third seven-day raft trip, so I feel like I’m a bit of an expert now.

Grand Canyon

The seven-day trips take you through the first two-thirds of Grand Canyon. On the Astronomy Special, we make the normal stops to investigate the geology and Indian ruins of Grand Canyon. Jon Albert, the Executive Director of Canyon Ministries, will lead the trip, and he will show us how the global Flood of the Bible best explains the features of Grand Canyon. That will be the “geology by day” part.

Telescope

The “astronomy by night” part will be after we camp on a beach along the river each night. We selected dates for this trip to avoid the bright light of the moon. That means that we won’t have the moon to look at, but without the moon and with being far from any city lights, the sky will be very dark, so many people will see the night sky as they have never seen it. The Milky Way often is stunningly bright in Grand Canyon. I’ll point out the constellations and the names of some of the brighter stars. I’ll also have along binoculars to enhance the view, but I’ll also have the Questar, a powerful yet portable telescope that I will set up. We’ll be able to view a few deep-sky objects, such as a globular cluster through the Questar, but you will be most thrilled with the planets. Saturn will be up all night. Its rings are the most beautiful things that I’ve seen through a telescope. Early some evening, we probably will be able to look at Jupiter and Venus. I say “some evening,” because they will be low in the southwest right after sundown, and, depending upon where we camp, the rock walls of Grand Canyon may block our view some evenings. As we set up camp late in the day, we may be able to (safely) view the sun through the Questar and perhaps see some sunspots. The weather prospects in June are the best of the year—rainfall then is very unlikely, and the skies tend to be clear all day and all night, so this is the best month for astronomy in Grand Canyon.

Deer Creek Falls

As you may expect, the scenery, both day and night, is breathtaking. We’ll visit several remarkable places—the turquoise water of the Little Colorado and Havasu Creek, several waterfalls in side canyons, and Redwall Cavern (one of my favorite stops). One of the biggest surprises for first-timers on these trips is the delicious meals prepared by the professional river crews. I particularly enjoy the wonderful fellowship of believers as we leisurely travel between rapids. Oh, and the rapids are great too! You will get wet. On a day when the temperature is 100 degrees, the splashes from the rapids are refreshing. If you really want to get wet, you sit in the front of the boat, but if you want to avoid all that water, there are some reasonably dry seats near the back (but you will get a little water there too).

Redwall Cavern

Many people include a Grand Canyon raft trip on their bucket lists. This is an opportunity to check this one off, while having a wonderful vacation with fellow Christians and learning more about a biblical worldview. It also makes a tremendous couples or family vacation. Why don’t you join me next year?

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