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EarthSky // Astronomy Essentials, Science Wire, Space Release Date: Dec 05, 2015

Astronomy events, star parties, festivals, workshops

Plan some astronomy fun for the coming year.

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.

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.

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.

Upcoming astronomy events …

January 16, 2016
Regional Meeting of Amateur Astronomers
Gardner-Webb University / Ritch Banquet Hall
Boiling Springs, North Carolina

February 5-6, 2016
Furnace Creek Resort/LVAS Star Party
Death Valley National Park, California

February 8-14, 2016
Winter Star Party
Big Pine Key, Florida

March 2-6, 2016
Orange Blossom Special XXII International Star Party
Withlacoochee River Park
Dade City, Florida

March 5, 2016
Guilford Technical Community College, Jamestown, North Carolina
Greenboro Astronomy Club and the Cline Observatory

March 9–13, 2016
Staunton River Star Party
Scottsburg, Virginia

April 1-3, 2016
Pickett Astronomy Weekend
Pickett-Pogue Dark Sky Park
Jamestown, Tennessee

April 2 or 3, 2016
Night Sky Maine Photography Workshop
Sandy Point Beach, Maine
Taylor Photography

April 2–9, 2016
OzSky Star Safari, a.k.a. Deepest
South Texas Star Safari
Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia

April 5 or 6, 2016
Night Sky Maine Photography Workshop
Nubble Lighthouse, Cape Neddick, Maine
Taylor Photography

April 6–9
Mid-South Star Gaze and Astronomy Conference
French Camp, Mississippi

April 8-9
North Carolina Statewide Star Party
35+ public skywatching sessions from the North Carolina mountains to the coast

April 9-10, 2016
Northeast Astronomy Forum
Suffern, New York

May 1-8, 2016
38th Annual Texas Star Party
Prude Ranch near Fort Davis, Texas

May 2-5, 2016
Night Sky Utah Photography Workshop
Moab, Utah
Taylor Photography: SOLD OUT

May 9-12, 2016
Night Sky Utah Photography/Processing Workshop
Moab, Utah
Taylor Photography/Utah Session II

May 14, 2016
International Astronomy Day
Local astronomical societies, planetariums, museums, and observatories will be sponsoring public viewing sessions, presentations, workshops, and other activities.
Organized by the Astronomical League

May 26 – May 30, 2016
RTMC Astronomy Expo (Riverside)
Camp Oakes, Big Bear, California

Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) annual meeting
May 30-June 2, 2016
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

June 1 – 4, 2016
Night Sky Maine Photography/Processing Workshop
Acadia National Park (Bar Harbor), Maine
Taylor Photography

June 2-5, 2016
Cherry Springs Star Party
Coudersport, Pennsylvania

June 29-July 3, 2016
Rocky Mountain Star Stare
Colorado Springs Astronomical Society, Gardner, Colorado

July 8-10, 2016
Star-B-Q, Eccles Ranch, Alberta, and other 2016 star parties in western Canada

July 24-30, 2016
Maine Astronomy Retreat
Washington, Maine

July 30 – August 7, 2016
Mount Kobau Star Party
Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada

July 27-31, 2016
York County Star Party
Shreveport Airport North
Wellsville, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC)

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

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

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

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

August 3-7, 2016
Saskatchewan Summer Star Party
Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan, Canada

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

August 4-7, 2016
Stellafane Convention
Springfield, Vermont

August 5-7, 2016
Kejimkujik Dark Sky Weekend
Caledonia, Nova Scotia, Canada

August 5-7, 2016
Butterpot Star Party
St. John’s, Newfoundland

August 26-28, 2016
Nova East
Smileys Provincial Park
Nova Scotia, Canada

September 2-4, 2016
Alberta Star Party
Starland, Alberta, Canada

September 24 – October 2, 2016
33rd Annual Okie-Tex Star Party
Camp Billie Joe, Oklahoma

September 27 – October 2, 2016
Northern Prairie Star Party
Tofield, Alberta, Canada

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!