“A daytime shot of the Star Field for the 2010 Iowa Star Party held at Whiterock Observatory. 36 participants showed up to take in the incredibly dark skies.” Image Credit: Andrew Sorenson
mightwill learn something – No matter how much time you spend at a ‘scope, meeting with other amateur astronomers will give you ideas and techniques and knowledge that you couldn’t even dream of discovering on your own. Plus, it’s fun to share an interest in any subject with other human beings, face to face.
- You’ll see more than you would at home – Larger star parties are inherently located in areas with very dark skies, meaning that there will be so much more to see than you could at home. Even smaller star parties near towns tend to avoid locations that are polluted by city lights. Plus, there will likely be people there with huge telescopes that are more than willing to show you all that a large light bucket has to offer.
- You can share your knowledge of the skies – A star party is a great chance to show off your knowledge of the skies to other amateurs, as well as members of the public if there is a public viewing night.
- You will meet other astronomers – Sure, amateur astronomy can be a lonely hobby, spending hours outside in the dark when everyone else is asleep. But at a star party, you’ll get the chance to share your passion for the skies with other astronomers, look through their telescopes and show them your own. You’re not alone!
-You’ll have fun – Even if you have a passing interest in astronomy and/or don’t own a telescope or binoculars, looking through a telescope is just plain cool, and getting to know your way around the skies is always a treat. And if it clouds over, chances are that someone will bring old episodes of Star Trek to watch!”
Star Parties are a great way to connect with people over the heavens above. As a family-friendly event, it is a great family and personal experience to behold. Dig deep and try to remember a time when you looked at the pristine, night sky above in your past. What did you think of it? Have you seen it? Though the night sky might be obfuscated in many parts around the world today, the stars will always be above well into the future. It’s up to us, if we want to be inspired by them or not.
Let there be night!