What is a star party? Where can I find information on star parties around my area?

You will hear about star parties many times when reading about amateur astronomy online, in magazines, books or even at astronomy stores.

A star party is simply a gathering of people to observe the sky, usually held at an easily accessible dark site. They are usually organized by local astronomy clubs, astronomy and physics departments at colleges and universities or other astronomical associations and institutions. They can be held at places like Griffith Observatory in
Los Angeles or out in the middle of the desert. The idea is to provide a setting where people can set up telescopes, share the views and experience the joy of astronomical observation. 

Star parties are a great opportunity to meet up with others involved in amateur astronomy and to learn about the sky, telescopes, astrophotography, etc.

Star parties in your area can be found by using the astronomy club/organization locator on the Sky and Telescope website:


Once you have found the group(s) in your area, the locator will provide you with all the contact information you need, including websites and a calendar of events listing upcoming star parties.

Updated 12/20/13