Star Parties at H.M.S. Beagle
General Star Party Information
Star parties are WEATHER DEPENDENT. If we can't see through the cloud cover satisfactorily, then we won't have a star party. We will try to make an announcement as to our intent, based on the best possible forecast data, by 5pm on the night in question. In the list below, alternate dates are given: if we are unable to make the primary date due to weather, we'll usually try again the following Friday.
If you're in doubt, please telephone before you make the drive out. It may look clear where you are, but it might still be cloudy above our heads!
Upcoming Star Party Dates, 2013
- Our star parties this year will be held on the last Friday of each month through October. We always to an orientation meeting inside the store before heading out with our 'scopes. We will be outside around dusk and the actual start time will vary from month to month. Please call (8a6-587-9998) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) for start times and other information.
If the skies are cloudy or it's raining or snowing, we will not be able to have the Star Party. Always check with us about 2 hours before the scheduled start time to confirm (816-587-9998).
Reservations aren't required, unless you are bringing a large group (more than ten people); in that case, please let us know by telephoning 816-587-9998, so that we're prepared for you. Do you have your own telescope or binocular which you want to bring? Please do! The more, the merrier. Don't have a telescope of your own? Don't worry - we generally bring out a couple from the store for everyone to use.
All ages are encouraged to come out for this free event, although we do ask that children be supervised around delicate optical equipment!
About Weather Forecasting
Do you ever wonder how we make our determinations of what the seeing will be like? First, we regularly check this site: Clear Sky Chart, with special reference to the section for Missouri (the WHS Observatory in Platte City is nearest to us in Parkville.
In addition, we check data from the National Weather Service, which is typically more conservative and less hyperbolic than some local weather forecasters we could mention.
These are great resources, and we encourage you to check them out.
So, What's a Star Party?
A Star Party is a gathering of people in the night with only one purpose in mind... looking at the stars through telescopes, binoculars, and whatever other optical gear happens to hand.
Star Parties are hosted by H.M.S. Beagle from April through November, held on the first Friday night of each month (the time will vary depending on sunset). All of these events are weather-dependent, usually the back-up date in the event of being clouded out is the following Friday.
Each month, our staff amateur astronomer, Leif Bahl, puts together a program detailing what we can expect to see in our observing, and then we take telescopes out to the back parking lot, set them up, and see what we can see. Interested telescope owners are encouraged to bring their own.
In addition, we host occasional special event Star Parties - watch this page, the Beagle events calendar, our Facebook group or our Twitter feed for additional notifications, or join our Mailing List today!
Learning More About Telescopes
Want to learn more about how to choose a telescope? Try out these videos from Orion Telescopes, explaining some of the basics!
Made 1 August 2008
Updated 5 June 2013.