On the weekends nearest to the new moon in October, the East Valley Astronomy club throws a large and unusual star party open to the public. For those interested in amateur astronomy in Arizona, this is an event you should not miss. Please make a note of it for next year on your calendar.
While there are many other types of star parties, this one is the most unique and thrilling yet. At the Grand Canyon Star Party, several amateur astronomers congregate every year. At a star-studded bash, this is a typical occurrence. Hundreds of astronomers congregate on an airport tarmac in a loose formation resembling a dense star cluster. Each of them may utilize the telescopes of the other, and they can exchange notes and discuss astronomy and the objects they are watching. Additionally, tourists will find it easier to visit all telescopes and scientists due to this organizational structure. I find it quite convenient, especially as the evening draws in.
The All Arizona star party, on the other hand, is a little unusual since it is an open cluster of astronomers.
The event will occur in a fairly large open space that used to be an abandoned airfield used for the first time. In addition, it is approximately a two-hour journey west of Phoenix. Furthermore, because it is a full weekend event, many individuals visit, intending to remain the entire weekend. As a result, they bring their tents, recreational vehicles, and motor homes, ensuring plenty of parking space. Portable restrooms are also provided to assist in the management of human waste. As a result, on this occasion, the astronomers dispersed. This makes it possible to enjoy a long and peaceful night of stargazing and astrophotography.
In addition to being a well-organized event, it also provides an opportunity for people to come together. During the daylight hours, a big tent is built up at the entrance to the airstrip, where people congregate to socialize. Even though the astronomers are dispersed, the event is not a single activity.
Tents are frequently put up with food, snacks, coffee, and a large raffle, among other things. There were a variety of prizes given away in this year’s lottery, including books and telescopes. Every type of beverage, including hot coffee and tea, is available at any time of day or night in the tent. The opportunity to participate in this event is fantastic for everybody attending. A person can stop by the tent for some coffee and cookies after spending many hours photographing the night sky. This will keep them refreshed and invigorated for the next several hours of photography.
In the nerd’s opinion, the Grand Canyon is a must-see destination for any budding stargazer. You’ll be able to chat with other astronomers, eat, and join the raffle if you arrive during daylight hours. You may speak about your plans for the night and get to know other astronomers while you’re waiting for the night to begin. And the gloomy sky is the most crucial aspect of this occurrence. Because it’s two hours outside of Phoenix in the middle of nowhere, the sky is always black and full of stars. Even if you’re not interested in deep-space astrophotography, the Milky Way will be well visible thanks to the black sky.
On the weekend closest to the new moon, a weekend-long celebration is held every October. It’s on Hovatter Air Strip, also known as Salome Emergency Air Strip, a now 50-year-old abandoned airfield. It’s a dirt airstrip located approximately 3 or 4 miles from I-10 exit 53. It’s only around 100 miles from Phoenix and a pretty simple journey straight west. It’s around 30 miles east of Quartzsite as well.
After exiting Interstate 10, you’ll shortly find yourself on a dirt road that’s pleasant and simple to navigate, but it kicks up a lot of dust. As you come closer to the star party, slow down to reduce the amount of dust you make. Also, if you arrive during the dark hours, switch off your headlights and use your running lights to avoid obstructing the astronomers’ night vision.
Every month at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, the East Valley Astronomy Club hosts an accessible community star party. The event will take place on the second Friday of each month. In the dark, the star party begins. You are welcome to attend and see through the telescopes of members.
Participating in club star parties is one of the most enjoyable aspects of subscribing to an amateur astronomy club for many amateur astronomers. These informal nighttime gatherings allow observers to converse about all things celestial, look through various scopes, and demonstrate some of their favorite views to one another. Every month, EVAC hosts at least two-star parties for its guests.
When members meet in the dark, they get to talk about astronomy and show off some of their favorite sights. They can also look through a lot of different scopes. If you’re a visitor, you can always find out what other members are doing and hear experts and quite well known amateur astronomers at the meeting.