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Astro festivals, star parties, workshops

What could be more fun on a cool, crisp autumn evening than a star party? Find a 2017 star party near you.

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 …fall, 2017

September 12–17
Oil City, Pennsylvania

September 14–18
Iowa Star Party
Whiterock Conservancy’s Whiterock Resort,
Coon Rapids, Iowa

September 15 – 17
Night Sky Photography Workshop with Taylor Photography
Moosehead Lake, Maine

September 15–17
Connecticut River Valley
Astronomers’ Conjunction
Northfield Mountain Recreation
and Environmental Center, Massachusetts

September 15–17
Idaho Star Party
Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho

September 16–24
Okie-Tex Star Party
Kenton, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City Astronomy Club

September 21–23
Illinois Dark Skies Star Party
Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife
Area, Illinois

September 21–23
Great Basin National Park Astronomy Festival
Baker, Nevada

September 21–24
Great Lakes Star Gaze
Gladwin, Michigan

September 21 – 23, 2017
Flagstaff Star Party
The Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition
Flagstaff, Arizona

September 21–24
2017 Bootleg Astronomy Star Party
Green River Conservation Area, Harmon, Illinois

September 21–24
Acadia Night Sky Festival
Mount Desert Island, Maine

September 21–24
Hidden Hollow Star Party
Hidden Hollow Camp,
Mansfield, Ohio

September 22–24
Connecticut Star Party
Edmund D. Strang Scout
Goshen, Connecticut

September 22–24
Black Forest Star Party
Cherry Springs State Park,

September 24 – 25, 2017
Night Sky Photography Workshop with Taylor Photography
Marshall Point Light, Maine

September 29–30
Astronomy at the Beach
Island Lake State Recreation Area, Michigan

September 30
Ventura County Astronomical Society—
Astronomy Day
Charles Temple Observatory, Moorpark College,

October 13–14
Kopernik AstroFest
Vestal, New York

October 13-22
Jasper Dark Sky Festival 2017
Jasper National Park
Jasper, Alberta, Canada

October 15–22
Peach State Star Gaze
Deerlick Astronomy Village, Crawfordville,

October 15–22
OzSky Star Safari, a.k.a. the Deepest
South Texas Star Safari
Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia
Attendance is extremely limited.

October 16–21
Eldorado Star Party
X-Bar Ranch, Eldorado, Texas

October 16-22
Staunton River Star Party
Scottsburg, Virginia

October 17–21
Enchanted Skies Star Party
Socorro, New Mexico

October 17–22
Deep South Star Gaze
Norwood, Louisiana

October 19–22
Borrego Springs, California

October 19-22, 2017
Heart of America Star Party
Astronomical Society of Kansas City
Butler, Missouri

October 19–22
SJAC Fall Star Party
Belleplain State Forest, New Jersey

October 20–22
Bays Mountain StarFest
Bays Mountain Park, Kingsport, Tennessee

October 20–22
Chiefland Star Party
Chiefland, Florida

October 21
Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers

November 3–5
Custer Jamboree
Custer Institute, Southold, New York

Upcoming astronomy events …winter, 2018

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

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 2017, compiled in cooperation with the awesome Astronomical League. Join in, and have fun!