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Rangers at Bryce Canyon National Park are holding a special winter solstice and "NOT the End of the World" star party Friday at the park's visitor center.

Bryce Canyon's "dark rangers" — so called for the incredible star gazing at the park — will give a free presentation titled "Maya Mania vs. More Likely Ends of the World" starting at 7 p.m. The presentation will focus on Mayan astronomers, the Mayan calendar and myths about the end of the world.

Participants will then head outside to look through telescopes at Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus as well as other night sky wonders.

The group will head back inside to warm up with a presentation titled "A Climate Intervention."

Then it is outside again for a look — weather permitting — at new deep-space objects.

"Cracking the Maya Code" from the Public Broadcast System's NOVA show will be aired in the visitor center at 10:30 p.m.

From 11:30 to midnight there will be more telescope time.

Visit the park's website,, for more information.

Brett Prettyman

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