One of the member benefits is our monthly Star Parties. We schedule them on Saturday evenings according to the New Moon. The club uses three different locations. The first is Furman University’s off-campus observatory located away from the city lights. The observatory has a roll-away roof and houses two telescopes, Furman’s Celestron 14″ f/11 Schmidt-Cassegrain and RMA’s 14″ Schmidt-Cassegrain. There is also an office with HVAC, a refrigerator and restrooms. Astronomy reference materials are available in the warm room as well. Secondly, the club uses Lake Rabon Park, in Hickory Tavern. There are bathroom facilities here, but no other structures. And lastly, we use the Blue Ridge Radio Control Field in Piedmont, SC. Every club member should take advantage of this great member “perk”.
Everyone observes their own interest and shares it with others. Some may be getting acquainted with their new telescope, while others are checking current events such as comets, asteroids and meteor showers. Some may focus (pun intended) oon their astrophotography projects. All should feel free to ask anyone what they are viewing and if you may take a look. Most astronomers love sharing their passion.
Our star parties are weather permitting so check for updates on the web site’s home page if its rainy or cloudy. If you have even the slightest interest in attending a star party, please register so that you receive all updates via email for the event. Plan to arrive in time to allow left-over daylight to set up telescopes. If you are not bringing equipment, we ask that you park at the lower parking area so that others can load and unload their equipment easily. BUT, telescopes and other equipment are not necessary to come to a star party. Just plan to enjoy and view the night sky. Bring a snack or refreshments to share if you like. Remember to dress warmly during the cold season.
Suggestions for Optimal viewing:
Please give warning before turning car lights on to leave. This will allow time for observers to turn away. Using a flashlight with a deep red filter over it helps to retain night vision. Once a viewer loses their night vision, it takes at least 15 minutes to get it back, longer if the person was observing very dim objects such as faint galaxies.
Please be sure to check our Facebook page for any changes or cancellations due to weather. Star parties are scheduled on the weekends near the “New Moon”. Check this page every month for any changes or cancellations due to other event conflicts, etc. If a star party has to be cancelled a blanket email will be sent out to everyone.
Below is a tentative list of star party dates for 2021. These are subject to change. Please consult our event listing for the most accurate information.
|New Moon||Star Party|
|Feb 1,2022||Jan 29,2022|
|Apr 1,2022||Mar 26,2022|
|Apr 30,2022||Apr 30,2022|
|Jun 28,2022||Jun 25,2022|
|Jul 28,2022||Jul 30,2022|
|Aug 27,2022||Aug 27,2022|
|Sep 25,2022||Sep 24,2022|
|Oct 25,2022||Oct 22,2022|
|Nov 23,2022||Nov 19,2022|
|Dec 23,2022||Dec 17,2022|