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Astronomy festivals, star parties, workshops

Looking for something to do on the weekends? At star parties, 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 2016 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.”

View larger. | Big Dipper on the horizon while getting set up at CST-25 (Astornomical Society of New Haven's 25th annual Connecticut Star Party) in Goshen, Connecticut.  Photo by Kurt Zeppetello.

View larger. | Big Dipper on the horizon while getting set up at the Astronomical Society of New Haven‘s 25th annual Connecticut Star Party in Goshen, Connecticut, October 9-11, 2015. Photo by Kurt Zeppetello.

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 …

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

June 29 or 30, 2016
Night Sky Maine Photography Workshop
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Maine
Taylor Photography

June 29–July 3
Golden State Star Party
Frosty Acres Ranch, Adin, California
www.goldenstatestarparty.org

July 6 – 7, 2016
Night Sky Maine Photography/Processing Workshop
Marshall Point Lighthouse, Port Clyde, Maine
Taylor Photography

July 6–9
Green Bank Star Quest 13
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green
Bank, West Virginia
www.greenbankstarquest.org

July 8-10, 2016
Star-B-Q, Eccles Ranch, Alberta, and other 2016 star parties in western Canada
edmontonrasc.com/western-canada-star-parties/

July 8–10
Connecticut River Valley Astronomers
Conjunction
Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental
Center, Massachusetts
www.philharrington.net/astroconjunction

July 14-15
Native Skywatchers – Educator & Community 2-day Workshop
St. Paul, Minnesota
web.stcloudstate.edu/planetarium/native_skywatchers

July 24-30, 2016
Maine Astronomy Retreat
Washington, Maine
www.astronomyretreat.com

July 27 – 30, 2016
Night Sky Maine Photography/Processing Workshop w/ 3 Instructors
Acadia National Park, Maine
Taylor Photography/Acadia 3 Instructor

July 27-31, 2016
York County Star Party
Shreveport Airport North
Wellsville, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC)
http://yorkcountystarparty.org/

July 30 – August 7, 2016
Mount Kobau Star Party
Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada
www.mksp.ca/index.html

July 31–August 5
Nebraska Star Party
Merritt Reservoir, Valentine, Nebraska
www.nebraskastarparty.org

August 2–6
Table Mountain Star Party
Eden Valley Ranch
Oroville, Washington
www.tmspa.com

August 2–7
Oregon Star Party
Trail Spring, Ochoco National Forest, Oregon
www.oregonstarparty.org/oregonstarparty

August 3 – 6, 2016
Night Sky NH Photography/Processing Workshop w/ 2 Instructors
Pittsburg, NH
Taylor Photography

August 3–7
Indiana Family Star Party
Camp Cullom, Frankfort, Indiana
www.indianastars.com/starparty

August 3-7, 2016
Saskatchewan Summer Star Party
Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan, Canada
www.usask.ca/rasc/activities.html

August 4–6
Julian Starfest
Menghini Winery, Julian, California
www.julianstarfest.com

August 4-7
Starfest
Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada
Starfest 2016

August 4-7
Stellafane
Springfield, Vermont
stellafane.org/convention

August 5-7
Dark Sky Festival
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA
www.exploresequoiakingscanyon.com/dark-sky-festival

August 5-7
Kejimkujik Dark Sky Weekend
Caledonia, Nova Scotia, Canada
www.novascotia.com/events/festivals-and-events/dark-sky-weekend-at-kejimkujik-national-park-and-national-historic-site

August 5-7
Butterpot Star Party
St. John’s, Newfoundland
www.stjohnsrasc.ca/star-party

August 5–7
Northwoods Starfest
Hobbs Observatory, Beaver Creek Reserve,
Wisconsin
www.cvastro.org

August 10–13
ALCon in Washington, D.C.
Northern Virginia Astronomy Club
Hilton Hotel, Arlington, Virginia
www.astroleague.org
alcon2016.astroleague.org

August 12-14
Dark Sky Festival
Siskiyou Mountains in northern California, southern Oregon
weirdmountain.org

August 26–27
Maine State Star Party
Cobscook Bay State Park, Edmunds, Maine
www.downeastaa.com/mssp_2016

August 26-28, 2016
Nova East
Smileys Provincial Park
Nova Scotia, Canada
halifax.rasc.ca/ne

August 26-28
Alberta Star Party
Starland, Alberta, Canada
calgary.rasc.ca

August 31–September 3
Northern Nights Star Fest
Long Lake Conservation Center, Minnesota
www.mnastro.org/NNSF

August 31–September 5
Brothers Star Party for Oregon Observatory
Brothers, Oregon
www.mbsp.org

September 1–5
Iowa Star Party
Whiterock Conservancy’s Whiterock Resort,
Coon Rapids, Iowa
www.iowastarparty.com

September 2–4
Black Forest Star Party
Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania
www.bfsp.org

September 2–6
Almost Heaven Star Party
Spruce Knob, West Virginia
www.ahsp.org

Sept 22-24
Flagstaff Star Party
Buffalo Park,Flagstaff, Arizona
www.flagstaffstarparty.org

September 22–25
Dark Sky Astrophotography Exchange 2016
Tupper Lake, New York
apobservatory.org

September 22–25
Acadia Night Sky Festival
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
www.acadianightskyfestival.org

September 24 – October 2, 2016
33rd Annual Okie-Tex Star Party
Camp Billie Joe, Kenton, Oklahoma
www.okie-tex.com

September 27 – October 2, 2016
Northern Prairie Star Party
Tofield, Alberta, Canada
Presented by the RASC Edmonton Centre

September 29–October 2
Great Lakes Star Gaze
River Valley RV Park, Gladwin, Michigan
www.greatlakesstargaze.com

September 29–October 2
Heart of America Star Party
Astronomical Society of Kansas City
Overland Park, Kansas
www.askc.org/HOASP.htm

September 29–October 2
Hidden Hollow Star Party
Mansfield, Ohio
www.wro.org

September 30–October 1
Idaho Star Party
Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho
www.boiseastro.org

October 28-29, 2016
Furnace Creek Resort star party in Death Valley National Park, California
Hosted by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society
www.furnacecreekresort.com

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 20 – 26, 2017
Winter Star Party
Florida Keys
www.scas.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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