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Astro festivals, star parties, workshops

The wintertime star parties are mostly at southerly latitudes. Time to plan a winter vacation!

North Carolina’s Fort Macon State Park host a monthly dark night astronomy program open to the public. With the help of the Crystal Coast Star Gazers Group, telescopes are set up for public viewing. In this photo, group member Fred Angeli”s headlamp leaves a streak of light as he approaches his ‘scope to focus on the night sky. Photo by Doug Waters.

Interested in astronomy, but not sure where to begin? A first step can be to seek out your local astronomy club. It consists of a roomful of willing and able amateur astronomers, whose telescopes may offer your first glimpse of the cosmos. The Astronomical League, an umbrella organization of 240 amateur astronomy clubs and societies in the U.S.

The Astronomical League also helps us create and maintain the list of events on this page. Click here to visit the Astronomical League’s website.

Know of an event that’s not on the list below? Contact us.

Do you have a great photo of a star party in your area? Submit here.

Looking for an astronomy club in your area? Click here.

Special thanks also to the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for help with this list.

Jump below the photo for a list of upcoming events! If no web link is given, it’s because the information for the upcoming event hasn’t been posted yet. Check back.

Jim Elliott of Powell, Ohio, contributed this photo.  He wrote:

Jim Elliott of Powell, Ohio, contributed this photo. He wrote: “The moon over Jupiter over Columbus, Ohio, at the OSU planetarium star party. April 16, 2016.”

Upcoming astronomy events …winter, 2018

February 3
Regional Gathering of Amateur Astronomers
(a.k.a. BoBfest) Catawba Science Center
Hickory, North Carolina
www.catawbasky.org

February 7–11
Orange Blossom Special International Star Party
Withlacoochee River Park
Dade City, Florida
www.stpeteastronomyclub.org/obs.php

Feb 12-18
Winter Star Party
Southern Cross Astronomical Society
Chiefland Astronomy Village (5450 NW 52nd Court Chiefland, Florida 32626)
scas.org/Home/WinterStarParty

March 3
TriStar 2018
Guilford Technical Community College
Greensboro Astronomy Club and the
Cline Observatory
Jamestown, North Carolina
observatory_gtcc.edu/tristar/

April 11–14
Mid-South Star Gaze and Astronomy Conference
French Camp, Mississippi
www.rainwaterobservatory.org/rainwater

April 14–21
The OzSky Star Safari
(a.k.a. Deepest South Texas Star Safari)
Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia
www.ozsky.org

April 21–22
Northeast Astronomy Forum
Suffern, New York
www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html

Here is Dan Lewelyn at Deerlick Astronomy Village near Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Dave Woolsteen.

Here is Dan Lewelyn at Deerlick Astronomy Village near Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Dave Woolsteen.

Here's the Texas Star Party in 2009, one of the biggest such events of the year, drawing about 500 deep-sky enthusiasts and their telescopes to the Davis Mountains of West Texas.  Image via Todd Hargis / Ron Ronhaar.  Used with permission.

Texas Star Party, one of the biggest public astronomy events of each year, drawing about 500 deep-sky enthusiasts and their telescopes to the Davis Mountains of West Texas. Image used with permission, via Todd Hargis and Ron Ronhaar.

Bottom line: List of astronomy and night sky events for the public, for 2018, compiled in cooperation with the awesome Astronomical League. Join in, and have fun!

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