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Astro festivals, star parties, workshops

There are some awesome winter star parties coming up, where amateur astronomers with telescopes will show you the night sky. Find one near you …

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.

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.”

Max Corneau wrote

View larger. | Max Corneau wrote: “On May 6, 2016, approximately 30 members of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas enjoyed a new moon weekend evening at the club’s dark sky site in southeast Oklahoma. Now in its 61st year, TAS is one of the largest amateur astronomical societies in America with 625 members. The Bortle Class-3 skies at the club’s dark site are dark enough to enjoy every aspect of astronomy. I captured this 100-minute deep sky image of the Trifid Nebula after staying up all night …”

Upcoming astronomy events …winter and spring, 2017

January 25–29, 2017
Orange Blossom Special XXII International Star Party
Withlacoochee River Park, Dade City, Florida
stpeteastronomyclub.org

January 27-28, 2017
Furnace Creek Resort star party in Death Valley National Park, California
Hosted by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society
www.furnacecreekresort.com

February 18, 2017
Regional Meeting of Amateur Astronomers 2017
Catawba Science Center, Hickory, North Carolina
catawbasky.org

February 20–26, 2017
Winter Star Party
West Summerland Key, Florida
scas.org/winter-star-party

March 3-4, 2017
Tri-Star 2017
Greensboro Astronomy Club and the
Cline Observatory
Guilford Technical Community College,
Jamestown, North Carolina
observatory.gtcc.edu/tristar

April 8–9, 2017
Northeast Astronomy Forum
Suffern, New York
rocklandastronomy.com/neaf

April 21–22, 2017
North Carolina Statewide Star Party
35+ public skywatching sessions from the North
Carolina mountains to the coast
ncsciencefestival.org/starparty

April 22–29, 2017
The 2017 OzSky Star Safari
(aka Deepest South Texas Star Safari)
Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia
ozsky.org

April 26–29, 2017
Mid-South Star Gaze and Astronomy Conference
French Camp, Mississippi
rainwaterobservatory.org/rainwater

June 21–25, 2017
Rocky Mountain Star Stare 2017
Gardner, Colorado
rmss.org

June 22-25, 2017
Cherry Springs Star Party
Coudersport, Pennsylvania
www.astrohbg.org/CSSP

Tentatively sheduled for June 22-25, 2017
Wisconsin Observers’ Weekend
Hartman Creek State Park just west of Waupaca, Wisconsin
www.new-star.org/index.php

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 2015 and 2016, compiled in cooperation with the awesome Astronomical League. Join in, and have fun!

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