Category Archives: Star Party

Star Parties This Fall 2017

As the Autumnal Equinox passes us by the nights start growing longer and cooler in this part of the world. It’s the perfect time for a star party. I thought I would offer up some star parties that you’ll want to add to your calendar. Star parties are great opportunities to get out under the night sky, visit with like minded folks and peek through an assortment of telescopes.  This can be very rewarding especially if you are thinking about buying a telescope.

The events listed below are within an hour or so drive, or closer, from the DFW area that I have  been to in the past and have found to be very enjoyable. Some have presentations at the beginning of the evening explaining basic astronomy concepts and discussing what can be seen in the sky and telescope that evening. Don’t miss this presentation as it will provide important info and guidelines for the evening as well as help set the tone and your expectations. Also, sometimes there are astronomy related giveaways or door prizes that you can get in on too.

If you plan on attending here are a few things you’ll want to consider. Should you stay the night and camp out if that is an option? Be sure to keep a close watch on the weather as the event approaches. The weather can change quickly and impact your plans. Should you arrive early on the day of the event and take in hiking or fishing and maybe a cookout?  At the very least I’d suggest getting there a bit early to settle in, find a good spot and look around. I find that arriving as the event is getting underway or a little late just does not allow for a relaxing and enjoyable evening. This is especially true if you are taking your own gear and need to set up or find a spot to camp, etc. Oh, and don’t forget the essentials like bug spray, a chair, drinks, a snack and warm clothes or a jacket. You might be surprised at how quickly the temperature can drop after sunset.

Astronomy Day, Saturday, September 30, 2017 – Check your local listings! Astronomy groups and clubs as well as state parks, science and history museums, and planetariums, etc. are sure to have activities and events planned on Astronomy Day.

Praire Sky Star Party @ Tandy Hills Natural Area, Fort Worth, TX on October 14, 2017. The Fort Worth Astronomical Society holds a monthly star party on the 2nd Saturday of the month weather permitting at the Tandy Hills Natural Area 3400 View Street, Fort Worth, TX 76103. FWAS Members will be on hand with several telescopes set up from 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM at Tandy Hills for viewing the night sky. This event is still free & open to the public. All ages welcome.

Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Star Party @ Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, Strawn, TX on October 14, 2017. Palo Pinto Mountains Star Party will be on Saturday, October 14th beginning at 4:00 pm. PPMSP is a new TPWD park property near the town of Strawn, Texas which serves as the gateway to the newly acquired state park property.  Members of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas and the Fort Worth Astronomical Society host this free event. There will be telescopes that you can use to view stars and constellations. Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, 1915 FM 2372, Strawn, Texas. Google Map.

20th Annual North Texas Skywatch Star Party @ Lake Mineral Wells State Park, Mineral Wells, TX. – This years NTSW star party will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2017 which is also International Observe the Moon Night. Come to the Lone Star Amphitheater where you can learn about astronomy and to have a chance to see the night sky through a wide variety of telescopes. There will be a beginner’s astronomy slide presentation at sunset. Held at the Lone Star Amphitheater in Lake Mineral Wells State Park, 100 Park Road 71, Mineral Wells, TX, 76067. The program is free with paid park entrance fee or a State Park Pass.

6th Annual Rio Brazos Star Party @ Acton Nature Center, Acton, TX.  The Rio Brazos chapter of Texas Master Naturalists will be hosting a star party on Saturday, November 25, 2017 from 7:30 to 10:30 pm at Acton Nature Center, 6900 Smoky Hill Ct. Granbury, TX 76049. We will have a guest speaker at the twilight program under the pavilion adjacent to the parking lot starting at 7:30 pm followed by a short walk down the path to the farmhouse where we will have telescopes with guides. Please bring a blanket or chair to sit, water to drink and enjoy the evening. Restrooms are available on site.

19th Annual North Texas Skywatch Star Party

North TX Sky Watch Star PartyThe 19th Annual North Texas Skywatch Star Party will be held at Lake Mineral Wells State Park on Saturday, October 22, 2016.

The park is located 50 miles west of Fort Worth.  This very popular family friendly star party (average attendance of 200) is hosted by Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Dr. Mike Hibbs of Tarleton State University.

NTSW Star Party 2014
NTSW Star Party 2014

The North Texas Skywatch Star Party will start at 7:00 PM and last as long as observers want to stay up. The intent is to give the residence of the North Texas a nearby meeting place and dark sky location to get together. “I hope that all of those with telescopes can stay and share views through their telescopes, or knowledge of astronomy, to those wanting a chance to learn and see for the first time.” The only cost is the normal State Park admission. You will be able to camp out for the night if you want. Come early and enjoy the park and have a cookout.  Lake Mineral Wells State Park is about 50 miles west of Fort Worth off of HWY 180.  Contact the Park for the entrance and camping fees and reservations.

Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Star Party

Palo Pinto Mountains State Park will be hosting a Star Party on Saturday, October 1, 2016. This is a free event that is open to the public.

Telescope area.
Telescope area.

Members of both the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas and the Fort Worth Astronomical Society will be there with telescopes that you can use to view the night sky. Bring chairs, water, bug spray, and your own telescope if you would like.

ppmsp_2Directions: Exit I-20 at exit 361, go north on Hwy 16 four miles, turn West on FM 2372 for two miles and then follow the signs.

Rio Brazos Star Party @ Acton Nature Center

Rio Brazos Star Party
Rio Brazos Star Party

The Rio Brazos chapter of Texas Master Naturalists will be hosting a star party on Saturday September 10, 2016 from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. at Acton Nature Center, 6900 Smoky Hill Ct. Granbury, TX 76049. There will be a guest speaker at the twilight program under the pavilion adjacent to the parking lot starting at 8:00 p.m. After the program attendees will take a short walk down the path to the farmhouse where we will have telescopes set up with sky guides to show you the night sky.

Please bring a blanket or chair to sit in, water to drink and enjoy the evening. Restrooms are available on site. We welcome anyone who is interested in sharing knowledge or telescopes with the public.

20130907_193927
Sunset at Acton Nature Center

North Texas Skywatch Star Party 2015

The annual North Texas Skywatch Star Party has been scheduled for Saturday evening October 10, 2015 at Lake Mineral Wells State Park near Mineral Wells, TX.

NTSW Star Party 2014
NTSW Star Party 2014

This is a great opportunity for new star gazers to get out under a dark sky and look at numerous fascinating astronomical objects through various types of telescopes. In addition it provides a great chance for those trying to decide what type and size of telescope they want to buy the same chance to actually get up close and personal with telescopes and ask questions of the owners.

Mark your calendars and join the fun! Whether you are just starting out in the hobby or an old pro it’s good to get out under the stars and enjoy a night of star gazing and telescopic observation. See you there.

 

Acton Nature Center Star Party

Rio Brazos Star Party
Rio Brazos Star Party

The Rio Brazos chapter of Texas Master Naturalists will be hosting a star party on Saturday September 10, 2016 from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. at Acton Nature Center, 6900 Smoky Hill Ct. Granbury, TX 76049. There will be a guest speaker at the twilight program under the pavilion adjacent to the parking lot starting at 8:00 p.m. After the program attendees will take a short walk down the path to the farmhouse where we will have telescopes set up with sky guides to show you the night sky.

Please bring a blanket or chair to sit in, water to drink and enjoy the evening. Restrooms are available on site. We welcome anyone who is interested in sharing knowledge or telescopes with the public.

20130907_193927
Sunset at Acton Nature Center

Star Party Rescheduled for This Weekend

Meade LXD55 10" Schmidt-Newtonian
Meade LXD55 10″ Schmidt-Newtonian

The Palo Pinto Mountains State Park star party scheduled for last Saturday evening (April 26th) was postponed and rescheduled for this Saturday, May 3rd due to cloudy weather.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, along with the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, and the Fort Worth Astronomical Society, will be hosting a stargazing party at the new Palo Pinto Mountains State Park on Saturday, May 3rd, beginning at 5 p.m.

The park is located near Strawn, which is 4 miles north of Interstate 20, halfway between Fort Worth and Abilene. To get to the event, just go west on FM 2372 or the Tucker Lake Road from Strawn. Go two miles from town and look for the signs.

You can bring your own telescope or use one provided by volunteers, who will be on hand to share expertise, knowledge, and lore.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks will be available.

Explore the dark skies of night-time Texas at a stargazing party in our newest state park!

PPMSP Contact Information