Its nice to report that the in-person star party circuit is opening up in North America. Here are some highlights of star parties for August and September 2021.
Nebraska Star Party
Location: Valentine, Nebraska
Dates: August 1 – 6, 2021
The Nebraska Star Party offers awesome astronomical views from Merritt Reservoir’s Snake Campground and there are plenty of recreational opportunities to keep the entire family entertained all week long. For newcomers, NSP is the perfect place to become acquainted with the wonders of the heavens which can’t be seen from cities. The unique Beginner’s Field School will show you how fun it is to explore the sky, as well as in your own back yard when you return home, with or without a telescope.
Oregon Star Party
Location: Ochoco National Forest near Prineville, Oregon
Dates: August 3-8, 2021
For over 25 years, amateur astronomers and their families have been gathering at Indian Trail Spring to enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere, dark skies, low humidity and wonderful night sky observing. Located roughly an hour east of Prineville, Oregon in the Ochoco National Forest, the Oregon Star Party is one of the three darkest and largest star parties in the United States. Don’t have a telescope but still want to join the fun? Join them anyway, as they are happy to share their telescope views with you.
Location: Springfield, Vermont
Date: Aug 5-8, 2021
The Stellafane Convention is a gathering of amateur telescope makers. The Convention was started in 1926 to give amateur telescope makers an opportunity to gather to show off their creations and teach each other telescope making and mirror-grinding techniques. All telescopes, commercial and homemade are welcome. If you have made your own telescope, they strongly encourage you to display it in the telescope fields near the Stellafane Clubhouse. If you wish, you can enter your homemade telescope in the mechanical and/or optical competition. There are also mirror-grinding and telescope-making demonstrations, technical lectures on telescope making and the presentation of awards for telescope design and craftsmanship.
Glacier National Park Star Party Float
Location: North Fork Flathead River, Polebridge, Montana
Date: August 12-13, 2021
In 2017, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park became the world’s first transboundary International Dark Sky Park! This is kind of a big deal. Especially when viewing Montana’s star studded skies. The Glacier National Park Star Party Float launch date is at the height of the 2021 Perseids Meteor Shower. Where could be a better place to watch a major meteor shower than on the border of an International Dark Sky Park, on the banks of a Wild and Scenic River in world famous, Polebridge, Montana. You don’t want to miss this Star Party!
Rocky Mountain Star Stare
Location: Walsenberg, Colorado
Date: September 2 – 6, 2021
Rocky Mountain Star Stare is an annual premiere star party sponsored by the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. Located on 35 acres of land, RMSS’s “Starry Meadows” is conveniently located just over two hours southwest of Colorado Springs (outside of Gardner, CO), between the Sangre de Cristo and Wet mountain ranges, at an altitude of 7,600 feet above sea level. RMSS annually plays host to 300+ amateur and professional astronomers, family and friends.
Acadia Night Sky Festival
Location: Bar Harbor, Maine
Date: September 29 – October 3, 2021
The 12th Annual Acadia Night Sky Festival is set for September 29 – October 3, 2021, and will once again be packed with a full schedule of events. With workshops, internationally recognized speakers and hands-on experiences, there truly is something for everyone from families to the serious amateur astronomer. Maine’s spectacular rocky coast is home to Acadia National Park, and some of the last pristine, star-filled night skies in the eastern United States. Here, the Milky Way shines bright in the largest expanse of naturally dark sky east of the Mississippi River.
Black Forest Star Party
Location: Potter County, Pennsylvania
Date: October 1-3, 2021
The Black Forest Star Party (BFSP) is an annual dark-sky amateur astronomy observing event hosted by the Central Pennsylvania Observers (CPO). Held every year since 1999, the BFSP generally spans a weekend in the late summer or early fall in Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County, Pennsylvania. Cherry Springs State Park is one of the darkest sites in the state of Pennsylvania and has been designated as Pennsylvania’s first Dark Sky Park by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The amateur astronomers who have attended the BFSP can testify that the skies can be great!
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