Title graphic for Sea and Sky's astronomy reference guide, astronomers observing the night sky

Astronomy Observing Events
& Star Parties

Many astronomy clubs and organizations host events where astronomers of all ages can get together and share the observing experience. The largest of these events are known as star parties and can attract hundreds of amateur astronomers and casual observers. This page contains links and information about local and non-local observing events and star parties. Some events are free and open to the general public while others may require a registration fee. These listings contain links to the hosting organization Web site for additional information where possible. If you know of any astronomy events that are not listed here, please send an e-mail and we will consider adding the event to this page.

  • Winter Star Party
    February 8 - 14, 2016
    Host: Southern Cross Astronomical Society
    Location: Camp Wesumkee on Big Pine Key, Florida Keys
    Website: http://scas.org/winter-star-party/

    The Winter Star Party "WSP" is a serious event designed for amateur astronomers. WSP is held annually, usually during the new moon in February. The event is unique in that it occurs mid-winter during the height of the Florida Keys tourist season. The warm weather, coupled with dark skies, and possibly the steadies skies in North America attracts attendees from all over the frozen United States, Canada, and Europe giving the event an international flavor. The amateur astronomical "get-to-together"allows participants to meet and share observing ideas, astro-imaging techniques, as well as find out what's new in the hobby. WSP offers a stellar daily line-up of speakers who are experts in their particular field. WSP is held under the auspices of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society of Miami. This not -for-profit organization funnels proceeds from this event toward public education projects, scholarship programs, humanitarian needs and Girl Scout Camp improvements.

  • Orange Blossom Special Star Party
    March 2 - 6, 2016
    Host: St. Petersburg Astronomy Club
    Location: Withlacoochee River County Park near Dade City, Florida
    Website: http://www.stpeteastronomyclub.org/obs.php

    The Orange Blossom Special Star Party is hosted by the St. Petersburg Astronomy Club. The event will be held at the Withlacoochee River County Park, Dade City, Florida. This location features darker skies, limited 30 amp RV hookups, limited 20 amp hookups, and unlimited dry camping. There is easy on/off field access to accommodate arrivals/departures, day trips, etc. The agenda for the star party, along with deep sky and solar observing, includes: lectures, mirror grinding demonstrations, our ever popular telescope tour, a group hike on the park trail, a Hee Haw Hayride, great door prizes and much more. There will be an on-site food vendor, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner all with other astronomy equipment vendors. The star party is pet friendly so your best friend is welcome. However, pets must display their current rabies tag/license and have direct adult supervision at all times. The star party will begin on Wednesday, March 2nd at 9:00 AM and will end Sunday, March 6th, at noon. You must register on-line. Registration begins on October 1st and will remain open through February 24th. Please note that late fees will be added to all registrations received after February 3, 2016.

  • Hodges Gardens Star Party
    April 6 - 10, 2016
    Host: Baton Rouge Astronomical Society
    Location: Hodges Gardens State Park, Louisiana
    Website: http://www.brastro.org/hgsp.html

    With the cooperation of the Louisiana Office of State Parks and the A.J. and Nona Trigg Hodges Foundation, the Baton Rouge Astronomical Society cordially invites you to the 8th Annual Hodges Gardens Star Party. The four night event will begin on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016. As always, this is an chance for you to share a few nights of stargazing and camaraderie with fellow amateur astronomers. The observing field is approximately 20 acres and is located within Hodges Gardens State Park in west central Louisiana. In addition to a wonderfully dark night sky, the park offers opportunities for fishing, canoing, birding, hiking and nature photography. Of course, the real centerpiece of the park is the magnificent botanical gardens. Although no bathrooms or showers are located on the observing field, such facilities are within a short walking distance. Potta-potties will be positioned on the field during our event.

  • Mid-South Star Gaze
    April 6 - 9, 2016
    Host: Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium
    Location: Rainwater Observatory & Planetarium in French Camp, Mississippi
    Website: http://www.rainwaterobservatory.org/rainwater/index.cfm/information/upcoming-events/mid-south-star-gaze/

    Rainwater Observatory is gearing up for its annual Midsouth Stargaze and Astronomy Conference coming up April 6-9, 2016! This event attracts amateur and professional astronomers from around the country. It is held under one of the darkest skies in the southeastern United States and just off the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway near the village of French Camp, Mississippi. Join us this year for fun, fellowship, observing, door prizes and fascinating presentations by professional research astronomers such as galaxy researcher, Dr. William Keel, exoplanet researcher, Dr. Angelle Tanner, NASA recognized teacher-lecturer Dave Teske, space science artist-lecturer Edwin Faughn and much more!

  • 2016 Zombie Party
    April 7 - 10, 2016
    Host: Atlanta Astronomy Club
    Location: Deerlick Astronomy Village near Sharon, Georgia
    Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/224846977859799/

    The Zombie party is a no-frills, open to the public, 3 night star party hosted by the Atlanta Astronomy club. No speakers, workshops or sessions just observing. This event if open to all, beginners and, experts alike, AAC members, and non-members (how else are we going to get you hooked!). The Zombie party got its name from the way we all look the next morning after staying awake all night observing and has nothing to do with the undead that are occasionally rumored to walk the area! Any contact with actual undead is completely coincidental and should not be confused with a star party function. In the off chance you do encounter the undead please run away a fast as you can trying not to lead them to the rest of us! This year the event is $15 per person per night due upon arrival, no refunds for bad weather once paid. See you there.

  • Texas Star Party
    May 1 - 8, 2016
    Host: Texas Star Party, Inc. and the Southwest Region of the Astronomical League
    Location: Prude Ranch near Fort Davis, Texas
    Website: https://texasstarparty.org/

    One of the premiere star parties held anywhere in North America is the Annual Texas Star Party. The event is held at the Prude Ranch, a 3500 acre mile-high ranch located six miles northwest of Fort Davis. This site in the Davis Mountains of West Texas features the darkest skies found anywhere in North America. Join a huge gathering of more than 500 of the most serious astrophotographers and observers in the United States and beyond for a week-long observing event where Milky Way rises over the mountains with so vivid a presence that you might mistake it for an ominous storm cloud.

  • Star Gaze XXI Star Party at Trap Pond State Park
    May 5 - 8, 2016
    Host: Delmarva Stargazer's
    Location: Trap Pond State Park near Laurel, Delaware
    Website: http://delmarvastargazers.org/archive/SG2016/

    Join us at our new dark sky location at Trap Pond. Camp by your telescopes, free Star Gazer coffee continuously, soup or chili on Thursday and Friday nights, fish fry on Saturday. Hot dogs will be available at minimal cost. We have Wi-Fi access, door prizes, battery charging facilities and, flush toilets. There is 110V power available for charging batteries and other tasks at the west end of the field. Showers and flush bathrooms are within a short walk. For more details and registration information please visit our website.

  • Michiana Star Party Eight - MSP8
    May 6 - 8, 2016
    Host: Michiana Astronomical Society
    Location: Dr. T.K. Lawless Park 15122 Monkey Run Street Vandalia, MI 49095
    Website: http://www.michiana-astro.org/index.php/msp8/

    We are proud to announce our Eighth Annual Michiana Star Party, hosted by the Michiana Astronomical Society (Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan). The event will take place from May 6th - 8th and will be held at 2016 Dr. T.K. Lawless County Park. The site is about 35 miles northeast of South Bend, Indiana. Star Party Fees include semi-primitave camping at the county park where the star party is being held. There are flush toilets, but no showers or electricity. The theme of this year's event will be the transit of Mercury.

  • Wisconsin Observers Weekend
    June 2 - 5, 2016
    Host: Northeast Wisconsin Stargazers
    Location: Hartman Creek State Park near Waupaca Wisconsin
    Website: http://www.new-star.org/index.php

    One of the biggest highlights of the year for amateur astronomers and their families is the Wisconsin Observers Weekend (WOW), hosted by NEWSTAR. Amateur astronomers from all over the mid-west enjoy three days of summer camping and observing at Hartman Creek State Park just west of Waupaca Wisconsin. Whether or not you own a telescope or are a seasoned observer you will enjoy what WOW has to offer. Hartman Creek State Park is 1,500 acres of post-glacial beauty located about 30 miles northwest of Oshkosh on the upper Waupaca Chain-O-Lakes. Visitors can enjoy camping swimming, hiking, biking, picnicking, and fishing, amidst the gently rolling woodlands, prairies, lakes and wetlands. Ten miles of hiking trails, including a segment of the National Scenic Ice Age Trail, offer plenty of opportunity to stretch your legs while enjoying numerous wildflowers and abundant bird life. The park also has designated off-road bicycling trails and low-traffic roads surrounding the area provide safe routes for the touring cyclist as well. WOW reserves all five-group campsites at Hartman Creek State Park so that your evening observing environment is white light free and as dark as possible for your enjoyment.

  • Cherry Springs Star Party
    June 2 - 5, 2016
    Host: Astronomical Society of Harrisburg PA
    Location: Cherry Springs State Park near Coudersport, Pennsylvania
    Website: http://www.cherrysprings.org/

    The Cherry Springs Star Party or CSSP will be held at Cherry Springs State Park near Coudersport, PA. Cherry Springs State Park is well known for nice dark skies and we hope you'll enjoy them with us at the Cherry Springs Star Party! Our 2015 Star Party was a great success and featured talented speakers and opportunities for observing. The Registration Desk will open at approximately 12 PM on Thursday June 2, 2016 and will be open at various times throughout the weekend. We hope to see YOU at the Star Party!

  • Mid-States Regional Astronomical League Conference
    June 3 - 5, 2016
    Host: The Astronomical League
    Location: University MO-Columbia Physics Building, Columbia, MO
    Website: http://www.msral.org/

    The annual Mid-states Regional Convention of the Astronomical League will be held Jun 3-5, 2016 on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. This convention is sponsored by the St. Louis Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of Kansas City. This should be an exciting meeting with lectures and tours. Check the website for more information.

  • Grand Canyon Star Party
    June 4 - 11, 2016
    Host: Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association
    Location: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
    Website: http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/grand-canyon-star-party.htm

    For eight days in June, park visitors will explore the wonders of the night sky on Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and on the North Rim with the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix. Amateur astronomers from across the country will volunteer their expertise and will offer free nightly astronomy programs and free telescope viewing. Visitors will have the chance to view the planet Saturn along with a wide assortment of star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae by night, and the sun and planet Mercury by day. Grand Canyon is one of the best night sky observing sites in the United States because it has some of the darkest skies and cleanest air in the country. Participants will experience spectacular views of the universe! Everyone dress warmly, since temperatures drop quickly after sunset - even during the summer months.

  • Golden State Star Party
    June 29 - July 3, 2016
    Host: Golden State Star Party
    Location: Frosty Acres Ranch near Adin, California
    Website: http://www.goldenstatestarparty.org/

    The Golden State Star Party is a 4 night dark sky event held each summer at Frosty Acres Ranch in North-Eastern California, near Mount Lassen, alongside rural Adin, California. GSSP has dark skies from horizon to horizon, and room for 100s of astronomers.

  • Rocky Mountain Star Stare
    June 29 - July 4, 2016
    Host: Colorado Springs Astronomical Society
    Location: Gardner, Colorado
    Website: http://www.rmss.org/

    For over two decades, astronomers from across the U.S. and around the world have been gathering each summer in the mountains west of Colorado Springs. What draws them here each year? Dark skies. Not just dark skies, but dark skies with amazing transparency. These gazers of the stars are enjoying Rocky Mountain Star Stare! Held in June or early July, RMSS is one of this nation's premier star parties. This year's event will be held on our own private land just north of Gardner, CO. Average attendance is usually 300 astronomers.

  • Green Bank Star Quest
    July 6 - 9, 2016
    Host: Central Appalachian Astronomy Club, Kanawha Astronomical Society, Green Bank NRAO
    Location: Green Bank, West Virginia
    Website: http://www.greenbankstarquest.org/

    Green bank Star Quest will take place July 6 - 9, 2016. It will be held at the National Radio Observatory in Green Bank, WV. The Central Appalachian Astronomy Club and the Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society of West Virginia present the 12th annual combined OPTICAL and RADIO star party. Presentations and clinics on multiple aspects of optical, radio astronomy, and astrophotography all held in the climate controlled visitor center. Solar and nighttime observing at your campsite. Campground has graveled roads, sanitary stations and a hot shower facility close by. Featuring: a Large raffle drawing, children's activities, cafeteria service available on site, limited bunk house accommodations, and vendors. 4-day registration fee is just $100 which includes campsite and all presentations/clinics. For more information check the Website.

  • South Dakota Star Party
    Dates TBD
    Host: Tri-State Astronomical Association
    Location: Wally's Corner in Garreston, South Dakota
    Website: http://www.sdsp.org/

    This year's South Dakota Star Party will be held at Wally's Corner in Garreston, South Dakota. Activities include solar observing during the day and night sky observing starting at dusk. There will also be instructions about telescope building and an afternoon astronomer's grill-out on Saturday.

  • Nebraska Star Party
    July 31 - August 5, 2016
    Host: Nebraska Star Party
    Location: Valentine, Nebraska
    Website: http://www.nebraskastarparty.org/

    Plan now to sail off on your own voyage of discovery this summer with us! The astronomical views from Merritt Reservoir’s Snake Campground are fabulous, and there are plenty of recreational opportunities to keep the entire family entertained all week long at the 22nd annual Nebraska Star Party. For newcomers, NSP is the perfect place to become acquainted with the wonders of the heavens which can’t be seen from cities. Our unique Beginner’s Field School will show you how fun it is to explore the sky here, as well as in your own back yard when you return home, with or without a telescope.

  • York County Star Party
    July 27 - 31, 2016
    Host: York County Astronomical Society
    Location: York, Pennsylvania
    Website: http://yorkcountystarparty.org/

    Located on a private grass strip airport near Wellsville, Pennsylvania at 380 Kralltown Road, The YCSP horizon is extremely flat, stars are visible at less than 10 degrees above the horizon and light pollution seems to be at a minimum. The Milky Way is easily visible. Observing can be made from the grass airport taxiway. The airport is closed for YCSP Star Party. Hope to see you at the YCSP!

  • Summer Star Party
    July 29 - August 6, 2016
    Host: Rockland Astronomy Club
    Location: Peppermint Park Camping Resort in Plainfield, Massachusetts
    Website: http://rockland-astronomy-club.myshopify.com/collections/summer-star-party

    The Rockland Astronomy Club's Summer Star Party is held at a pristine dark sky location in northwest Massachusetts. The event location is a large open-grass telescope field with a 360-degree view of night sky, horizon to horizon. The event features free wi-fi, a water & electric equipped observing field that can also be used for tenting next to your scope, a refreshment & game tent with daytime lemonade & unlimited evening refreshments, free daily continental breakfast, exclusive chicken starBQ (with all the fixin's) on Sunday, lectures, talks & demos, and vendors with astronomy gear and accessories for sale, including Camera Concepts & Teeter Scopes.

  • Table Mountain Star Party
    August 2 - 6, 2016
    Host: Table Mountain Star Party Association
    Location: Eden Valley Ranch near Oroville, Washington
    Website: http://www.tmspa.com/index.html

    The Table Mountain Star Party is an annual gathering of people interested in astronomy and its many related topics. Most people attending are amateur astronomers who enjoy the great viewing which the mountain provides, however, anyone with an interest or curiosity is welcome to register and enjoy the experience. Programming is provided for everyone from the seasoned astronomer to the beginning novice. We also provide well organized, fun and educational programming for the student. Each year our event is held in July or August (usually July) depending on the weather and the phase of the moon. Make your plans to attend and enjoy this event with hundreds of great telescopes and related equipment. Bring your telescope, or if you don't have one, most astronomers are happy to share the view and show off their equipment.

  • Oregon Star Party
    August 2 - 7, 2016
    Host: Oregon Star Party
    Location: Ochoco National Forest near Prineville, Oregon
    Website: http://www.oregonstarparty.org/oregonstarparty/default.aspx

    For over 25 years, amateur astronomers and their families have been gathering at Indian Trail Spring to enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere, dark skies, low humidity and wonderful night sky observing. Located roughly an hour east of Prineville, Oregon in the Ochoco National Forest, Oregon Star Party is one of the three darkest and largest star parties in the United States. Don't have a telescope but still want to join the fun? Join us anyway, we're happy to share our telescope views with you!

  • Indiana Family Star Party
    August 3 - 7, 2016
    Host: Wabash Valley Astronomical Society, Indiana Astronomical Society, and Muncie Astronomy Club
    Location: Camp Cullom, near Mulberry, IN
    Website: http://www.indianastars.com/starparty/

    The 2016 Indiana Family Star Party/GREATCon will be held August 3 - 7, Wednesday through noon Sunday. Wednesday and Thursday are optional for full-event registrants at no extra cost, but no organized activities are planned for those days. The public is invited to attend during the afternoon and evening of August 5th and 6th. The star party will be at Camp Cullom, the site of the Prairie Grass Observatory, about 50 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Sponsored by Camp Cullom (Clinton County Foundation for Youth), the Wabash Valley Astronomical Society (Lafayette, IN), the Indiana Astronomical Society (Indianapolis), the Muncie Astronomy Club , and the Great Lakes Region of the Astronomical League.

  • Julian Starfest
    August 4 - 6, 2016
    Host: San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA)
    Location: Menghini Winery in Julian, California
    Website: http://www.julianstarfest.com

    Julian Starfest, an astronomy exhibition and public star party, is scheduled for the 21st through the 24th of August at the Menghini Winery in Julian, CA. Julian, at 4,200', offers some of the darkest skies in Southern California and the Menghini Winery offers a beautiful venue. Starfest, now a joint effort between the San Diego Astronomy Association and the town of Julian, will only get better as the years pass.

  • Stellafane Convention
    August 4 - 7, 2016
    Host: Springfield Telescope Makers
    Location: Springfield, Vermont
    Website: http://stellafane.org/convention/

    The Stellafane Convention is a gathering of amateur telescope makers. The Convention was started in 1926 to give amateur telescope makers an opportunity to gather to show off their creations and teach each other telescope making and mirror-grinding techniques. All telescopes, commercial and homemade are welcome. If you have made your own telescope, we strongly encourage you to display it in the telescope fields near the Stellafane Clubhouse. If you wish, you can enter your homemade telescope in the mechanical and/or optical competition. There are also mirror-grinding and telescope-making demonstrations, technical lectures on telescope making and the presentation of awards for telescope design and craftsmanship. Vendor displays and the retail sale of commercial products are not permitted.

  • Brothers Star Party for Oregon Observatory
    August 31 - September 5, 2016
    Host: Oregon Observatory
    Location: Brothers, Oregon
    Website: http://www.mbsp.org/

    Our Brothers Star Party location is just 42 miles east of Bend and a bit over 2 ½ miles off of US 20 on a good gravel and dirt road. The elevation of the site is right at 4600 feet and the sky is dark, dark, dark. We’ve had two test star parties at this site and the attendees have given this location a solid “thumbs up.” The Brothers site is huge and there’s plenty of room for the largest RV’s as well as lots of places to set up. There are virtually unobstructed views to the western, southern and eastern sky. The tiny “town” of Brothers is about 2 miles away east on Highway 20 and they close up tight about 6 PM.

  • Heart of America Star Party
    Dates TBD
    Host: Astronomical Society of Kansas City
    Location: Butler, Missouri
    Website: http://www.hoasp.org/

    The Heart of America Star Party is an annual gathering of amateur astronomers at the Astronomical Society of Kansas City’s Dark Sky Site, near Butler, Missouri, about 75 miles south of Kansas City. Our remote location offers dark skies and wonderful nighttime viewing. Each year, observing friends from across the country gather to share, to learn, and most of all, to observe.

  • Oki-Tex Star Party
    September 24 - October 2, 2016
    Host: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club
    Location: Kenton, Oklahoma
    Website: http://www.okie-tex.com/

    The Okie-Tex Star Party is famous for its incredibly dark sky, great food, presentations, fellowship and accommodations. They are also known for the Great Okie-Tex Giveaway! Over the years we have given away many telescopes, CCD cameras, eyepieces, software, star atlases and many other fabulous items! The event will also feature vendors, a swap meet, and meals.

  • Great Lakes Star Gaze
    September 29 - October 2, 2016
    Host: Great Lakes Star Gaze
    Location: Gladwin, Michigan
    Website: http://www.greatlakesstargaze.com/

    Location and dark skies are the main attraction of this star party. Gladwin, MI is a central location that provides excellent observing without traveling hours into Northern Michigan. Limiting magnitudes are estimated to be around 6.5 at zenith with some minor light domes from the cities of Mt. Pleasant and Midland, some 30 miles away. This is a star party for the astronomer who loves to observe and mingle with other astronomers. Some practical and interesting talks are scheduled to enhance your weekend experience. The GLSG star party will be held at the River Valley RV Park in Gladwin, MI. Directions and more information about the star party can be found in the registration form.

  • Eldorado Star Party
    October 24 - 29, 2016
    Host: Austin Astronomical Society, San Antonio Astronomical Association, Hill Country Astronomers
    Location: X-Bar Ranch near Eldorado, Texas
    Website: http://eldoradostarparty.org/

    Sponsored by the Austin Astronomical Society, San Antonio Astronomical Association, and Hill Country Astronomers (Fredericksburg) with the support of the Texas Star Party, and volunteers from area clubs including Dallas and Houston, this event promises to bring dark skies closer to the amateur astronomer. The central location (46 miles west of Fort McKavett) is within easy driving distance of many Texas cities and enjoys the dry climate of west Texas.

  • ORAS AstroBlast 2016
    Dates TBD
    Host: Oil Region Astronomical Society
    Location: Lockwood Observatory, Two Mile Run County Park, Oil City, PA
    Website: http://www.oras.org/astroblast.html

    AstroBlast is an annual star party hosted by the Oil Region Astronomical Society near Oil City, Venango County, Pennsylvania. The event is held under the dark skies of the Oil Region Observatory in the Lockwood area of Two Mile Run County Park. The event will include dark sky observing, speakers, an astronomers' yard sale, kids' camp, and great food.

  • Enchanted Skies Star Party
    October 26 - 29, 2016
    Host: Magdalena Chamber of Commerce
    Location: Magdalena, New Mexico
    Website: http://enchantedskies.org/

    The Enchanted Skies Star Party offers a unique Southwestern Astronomy experience with many exciting features. We have just concluded our 22nd year star party and it was the “BEST Star Party EVER!” It was great for our participants and a great team effort by all our volunteers and local vendors! Thanks to all for making it GREAT! We are posting photos as we receive them! Take a look! For more information on future parties, please visit the website.

  • Deep South Regional Star Gaze
    October 25 - 30, 2016
    Host: Deep South Regional Star Gaze
    Location: Feliciana Retreat Center near Norwood, Louisiana
    Website: http://www.stargazing.net/dsrsg/

    Named one of the 19 Great Star Parties by ASTRONOMY magazine in the September, 1998 edition, we have a lot to offer - A great setting at a great time of year, among a lot of other eager amateur astronomers anxious to do some serious observing. Feliciana Retreat Center is located approximately 115 miles north of New Orleans, Louisiana (via I-10 to I-55), 120 miles south of Jackson, Mississippi (via I-55) and about 45 miles north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana (via Louisiana Hwy 67).

  • Nightfall 2016
    October 27 - 30, 2016
    Host: Riverside Astronomical Society
    Location: Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort in Borrego Springs, California
    Website: http://nightfallstarparty.com/

    Join us in Borrego Springs for a 3-night star party with workshops and presentations! In addition to the star party and presentations, Nightfall features hotel rooms, pools, jacuzzis, RV spaces with full hookups, and the Anza Borrego State Park! See the Workshops page for more information!

  • Chiefland Star Party
    Dates TBD
    Host: Chiefland Star Party Group
    Location: Chiefland Astronomy Village in Chiefland, Florida
    Website: http://chieflandstarpartygroup.com/fall.html

    Our observing field in Chiefland boasts a wonderful array of amenities. First and foremost, it is dark. The private 5+ acre field has showers, a clubhouse, restrooms, a picnic area, and much more. The ground is relatively flat providing easy setup of equipment, tents, and RVs. We also are blessed with 360 degrees of unblocked sky. On top of that, we have the distinction of being virtually insect free. That's right, you may be "bugged" by a few mosquitoes in season, but not much else can be found the rest of the year. Fall nights are generally cool to cold and clear with daytime highs typically in the 70's. Summers on the other hand are full of hot, 90 degree days and warm, comfortable nights. And yes, there is the occasional thunderstorm, so come prepared!. We welcome you to pay us a visit at your earliest convenience and join us as a new member for a first time annual fee of $45 ($35 every year after that) to help with the costs of updating and maintaining the facilities. There is also a nightly charge, for those who observe or image, of $5 a night for tent and $10 a night for RV, to cover operating costs.

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  • Moon Over Monona Terrace
    April 15, 2016
    Host: Madison Astronomical Society
    Location: Monoa Terrace Rooftop Garden, Madison, Wisconsin
    Website: Moon Over Monona Terrace

    One of our most popular programs, Moon Over Monona Terrace combines the talents of the Madison Astronomical Society (MAS) with the striking views from the Monona Terrace Rooftop, topped off with crossed fingers for a crystal clear Madison evening! Young and old alike are invited to view celestial objects through a multitude of different telescopes. The evening will begin with moon viewing only, and will progress to different objects as the sky darkens. Activities include short kid-friendly presentations on the moon and other celestial phenomena, and a kid's fun zone with educational games and prizes! Fun for the whole family!

  • Star Parties at the South Physics Observatory, University of Utah
    Every Clear Wednesday Night
    Host: South Physics Observatory at the University of Utah
    Location: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    Website: http://web.utah.edu/astro

    Free Star parties for all ages every Clear Wednesday night at the South Physics Observatory. The events are held all year and the times change so check the webpage for times and details. Hosted by the University of Utah Physics and Astronomy Department. The star party is held on campus at the University of Utah at 125 south 1400 East in Salt Lake City.

  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park Star Party
    Select Nights During Summer
    Host: Carlsbad Caverns National Park
    Location: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
    Website: http://www.nps.gov/cave/planyourvisit/starparties.htm

    This summer Carlsbad Caverns National Park will be hosting several Star Party events. The park is a perfect spot for viewing the wonders of the night sky due to its location away from the lights of the local communities. Weather permitting; telescopes will be available for viewing the celestial night sky and will provide an opportunity for visitors to see for themselves what spectacular views are available in the universe above. Rangers will be available to discuss a variety of topics from nocturnal creatures, cultural folklore and astronomy. The public is welcome. No fee or advance reservations are necessary. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. These events will be held immediately after Bat Flight, so please join us in the East parking lot in front of the visitor center (parking limited to the West lot). The visitor center and cave will not be open during these events.

  • Stars Over Yellowstone
    Select Nights During Summer
    Host: Southwest Montana Astronomical Society
    Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
    Website: http://smasweb.org/?page_id=546

    For 16 years the Southwest Montana Astronomical Society, along with the National Parks Service and the Museum of the Rockies, have hosted a star-party under the dark-skies of Yellowstone National Park. Astronomy club members come down from Bozeman, as well as other astronomers from Montana and Idaho, to descend on the Madison campground for a weekend of star-gazing. We are always happy to have traveling astronomers to join us for the star party, so bring your scopes.

  • Stargazing at the Public Observatory
    Select Nights During Summer
    Host: National Air & Space Museum
    Location: National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC
    Website: http://airandspace.si.edu/events/telescopic-observing/

    The National Air and Space Museum’s Public Observatory will be open for special nighttime stargazing. Do not miss this chance to see an array of celestial objects through a powerful professional telescope as well as additional portable telescopes.

  • Night Under the Stars Party
    Date TBD
    Host: Astronomers of Verde Valley
    Location: Alamo Lake State Park, Arizona
    Website: http://azstateparks.com/Parks/ALLA/events.html

    Alamo Lake State Park is one of Arizona’s best kept secrets. The stark desert beauty is reflected off the water where cacti dot the mountainous landscape that surround the lake. Nestled in the Bill Williams River Valley, the park offers outdoor fun, premier bass fishing, rest and relaxation. In November, we will be holding our annual Night Under the Stars Star Party. Reserve campsites online. At the event, 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.

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  • International Dark Sky Week
    February 1, 2016
    Host: The Astronomical League
    Location: Various Locations
    Website: http://www.darksky.org/int-l-dark-sky-week-main

    International Dark Sky Week is held during the week of the new moon in April. It is a week during which people worldwide turn out their outdoor lights in order to observe the wonders of the night sky without light pollution. It has been endorsed by the International Dark-Sky Association, the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical League. So go ahead and turn out your outdoor lights this week to appreciate the beauty of the night sky!

  • International Astronomy Day
    May 14, 2016
    Host: The Astronomical League
    Location: Various Locations
    Website: http://www.astroleague.org/al/astroday/astroday.html

    Astronomy Day is an annual event intended to provide a means of interaction between the general public and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals. The theme of Astronomy Day is "Bringing Astronomy to the People," and on this day astronomy and stargazing clubs and other organizations around the world will plan special events. You can find out about special local events in your area by contacting your local astronomy club or planetarium.

  • Northeast Astronomy Forum
    April 9 & 10, 2016
    Host: N/A
    Location: Suffern, New York
    Website: http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html

    America's Premiere Astronomy ExpoNEAF is quite simply the world’s largest and most exciting space & astronomy event of its kind. Two amazing days feature world-renowned speakers, exclusive product showcases with more than 115 on-site vendors & exhibitors, NEAF Solar Star Party with daily solar observing, Pro/Am conference, STARLAB planetarium shows, getting started classes for beginners, children's space & astronomy program of activities, and hourly door prize giveaways.

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