Upcoming Star Party Astronomy Events

Star Night Party

Homolovi State Park - September 13, 2014

Event 6:30 to 10 pm. [Set up at 6 pm. Sunset at 6:30 pm.] at the Homolovi Visitor Center & Museum. Explore the wonders of the night sky through astronomer's telescopes at Homolovi's second Star Night Party. Event supported by the the Hopi Tribe, the City of Winslow Public Library and the Friends of the Winslow Public Library!

Kartchner Caverns State Park - September 20, 2014

2- 5 pm: Afternoon Solar Viewing: safely view the sun through a special telescope.
5:30 pm: Guest speaker Dr. Connie Walker, Associate Scientist, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). Connie specializes in education and public outreach for NOAO, a national center for ground-based nighttime astronomy in the United States which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.
6:30 pm: After the speaker see planets, stars, comets, galaxies, and more through Astronomers telescopes! Bring a folding chair, red light, sweater or jacket, enthusiasm to enjoy and conserve our beautiful night skies! Event supported by the Huachuca Astronomy Club & Astronomers of Verde Valley!

Catalina State Park - October 18, 2014

6 pm: Event introduction. Special presentation: Native American Night Sky Stories by Jim O’Connor. Jim will share creation stories from the Tohono O’odham Nation & Navajo people.
6:30 pm: After the introduction see planets, stars, comets, galaxies, and more through Astronomers telescopes. Event supported by the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association!

Catalina State Park - February 21, 2015

Moon sets at 9:40 pm

Catalina State Park - April 11, 2015


Parks & Partner Clubs

  • Alamo Lake SP/Dead Horse Ranch SP/Red Rock SP/Kartchner Caverns SP Astronomers of Verde Valley (AstroVerde.org External Link)
  • Catalina SP, Oracle SP & Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TucsonAstronomy.org External Link)
  • Homolovi SP & the City of Winslow (website External Link) & Navajo County Library District (website External Link)
  • Lost Dutchman SP & Superstition Mountain Astronomical League (website External Link) & Bill Dellinges
  • Kartchner Caverns SP & Huachuca Astronomy Club of Southeast Arizona (HACAstronomy.com External Link)
  • Roper Lake SP & Friends of Roper Lake State Park (RoperLake.org External Link)
  • Patagonia Lake SP & Sonora Astronomical Society (SonoraAstronomicalSociety.org External Link)

Other partners, clubs, and individuals also assist at various events!

Milky Way Rising Over Oracle SP

Mike Weasner of the Oracle Dark Skies Committee with another amazing time-lapse video of the Milky Way rising over Oracle SP. There is no audio track to this piece. The Oracle Dark Skies Committee (ODSC) is asking groups and individuals to write "letters of support" to receive a designation as an International Dark Sky Park. Learn more

Intro to Star Night Parties Video

Observe the wonders of the night sky through astronomers’ telescopes at dark sky parks!

Star Night PartiesStar Night PartiesStar Night PartiesNine Arizona State Parks have provide fun, educational Star Night Astronomy events! Our astronomy program has been in operation since 2008 and continues to grow! At a typical star night event you can hear a lecture (often with guest speakers), and view celestial objects (planets, nebulas, stars) through a variety of telescopes. Some events have information tables and afternoon solar viewings as well, and one event even has an astral photography workshop. These events are supported by Arizona Astronomy Clubs and individuals who invite the public to come see Arizona's amazing night skies. Watch our video which gives a good introduction to Star Night activities. Learn more about what to expect and what to bring on this page.

Night Under the StarsWhat to Bring to a Star Party
Water, snacks, red flashlight (which protects everyone's night vision), sweater or jacket, & enthusiasm to enjoy and conserve our beautiful night skies!

If you have a telescopes feel free to bring it. Each event has an organizer you can coordinate with before arriving. If you have never brought your scope to a public event it's a great experience and we can help you!

Please note that no flash photos are allowed after dark to protect everyone's night vision. In addition when using a telescope we ask that you only lean in with your eyes and do not touch the astronomers' telescopes.

Star Night events are the perfect event to camp at. You can even make campsite reservations online 24/7.

Time-Lapse at Oracle SP at Night

Mike Weasner of the Oracle Dark Skies Committee has created a time-lapse film of the dark skies at the park. You can watch 2 hours of the night sky passing by in 11 seconds. There is no audio track to this piece.

Alamo Lake & Kartchner Caverns Added to Global Star Park Network!

Star AwardOn March 3, 2011, Alamo Lake State Park (with the Astronomers of Verde Valley) & Kartchner Caverns State Park (with the Huachuca Astronomy Club) were the first state parks in the United States to be granted the "One Star at a Time" award and became a member of the Global Star Park Network. This award acknowledges the public stargazing events held at both parks in an effort to increase awareness of astronomy and preserving dark skies for future generations. The awards were presented by the StarLight Initiative, the One Star at a Time organization and Astronomers Without Borders. The Global Star Park Network aims to protect night environments, educate the public, and improve human habitat.

Night Under the Stars Night Under the Stars

Photo Wrap Up Galleries & Dates of Previous Events

Red Rock State Park - July 25, 2014
Oracle State Park - June 21, 2014 (With Live Music) (see photos)
Homolovi State Park - June 5, 2014, 67 people, 11 telescopes
Red Rock State Park (Reservations Required) - May 30, 2014
Lost Dutchman State Park - April 26, 2014
Catalina State Park - April 19, 2014, 100 people (see photos)
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park: April 5, 2014, 82 people
Lost Dutchman SP: March 29, 2014
Kartchner Caverns SP (Guest Speaker Dr. David O’Brien a research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, presented “The Giant Asteroid Vesta: Highlights from NASA's Dawn Mission” to 203 people in the Auditorium): March 22, 2014
Patagonia Lake SP: March 22, 2014 (New Park to hold a Star Party!)
Catalina SP - February 22, 2014
Lost Dutchman SP: November 30, 2013
Red Rock SP: November 9, 2013
Alamo Lake SP: November 2, 2013
Catalina SP: October 26, 2013
Kartchner Caverns SP: October 5, 2013
Lost Dutchman SP: October 5, 2013
Red Rock SP: September 14, 2013 (New Park to hold a Star Party!)
Catalina SP: May 4, 2013 (part of the 30th Anniversary Celebration Event)
Oracle SP: April 14, 2013 (New Park to hold a Star Party!)
Catalina SP: March 16, 2013
Kartchner Caverns SP: March 16, 2013
Alamo Lake SP: November 10, 2012 (Photo Gallery)
Lost Dutchman SP: November 17, 2012
Kartchner Caverns SP: Sept. 15, 2012 (Photo Gallery)
Lost Dutchman SP: April 7, 2012
Lost Dutchman SP: April 13, 2012
Catalina SP: April 14, 2012
Alamo Lake SP: November 19, 2011 (Photo Gallery)
Roper Lake SP: November 19, 2011
Roper Lake SP: June 1, 2011
Kartchner Caverns SP: March 26, 2011 (Photo Gallery)
Lost Dutchman SP: December 11, 2010 (Photo Gallery)
Alamo Lake SP: November 6, 2010 (Photo Gallery)
Kartchner Caverns SP: September 11, 2010 (Photo Gallery)
Alamo Lake SP: November 14, 2009(Photo Gallery)
Alamo Lake SP: November 22, 2008 (Photo Gallery)

Contact: Dr. Bob Casavant, Manager, Science & Research
rcasavant(at)azstateparks.gov or 520-260-8826

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