One of the greatest benefits of joining
an astronomy club is the access to organized star parties.
If you are thinking about buying a telescope you can do no
better than to join a club like ours and be able to look through
dozens of different types of telescopes and talk to the members
who own them.
We have at least
two regularly scheduled star parties every month - one at
an in-town location near Irvine Lake. The other location
is our own 20 acre facility just 2 hours drive away near the
small town of Anza.
We organize our star
parties to cooincide with the "darkest" time of
the month when the moon causes the least amount of problem
with observing the darkest, dimmest objects. If the New Moon
occurs on a Wednesday we choose to have two scheduled star
parties on the saturday before and the saturday after the
Please check our calendar for details of the next star parties.
Please review this article on Star Parties written by Barbara Toy
Remember that the sole purpose of a star
party is to allow everyone to view (and photograph) the most
beautifully dim wonderful objects in their telescopes. Therefore
white lights are never to be used at a star party. Try to
purchase one of the many red-light flashlights that are available
at astronomy stores and other locations. Alternatively wrap
lots of red-film over the flashlight.
Try to minimize the possibility of your
cars internal "dome" lights coming on if you need
to open your door. Some cars have a swith to disable the lights
- while others may require you resort to covering the internal
lights with tape. If you are going to be arriving at a star
party after dark remember to switch to parking lights only
as you enter the property (or try to get there before sunset).
Some cars (especially those with day-time-running lights)
may always leave some white lights on the headlights even
if you try to switch just the parking lights on. Many vehicles
such as these allow you to swicth off the white lights by
engaging the hand-brake (or foot break) by just one or two
The rule is dress warm - have plenty of
layers - especially a hat and gloves. While our summer star
parties may be very warm (August / September it has been warm
enough to wear shorts all night) - it is always advisable
to bring along warm clothing in any case. Our Anza star parties
in the winter (December thru February) can be very chilly
(it has been known to get down to the 20's).
Bring along plenty of food and snacks to
keep you going during the night. Our Anza facility has kitchens
with available microwave and conventional ovens so you can
easily cook something warm if you prefer.