Star Parties

The SAS organizes monthly star parties at Green Lake and Paramount Park which are free and open to the public. People of all ages and background, including children, are welcome. These events offer to all the opportunity for telescopic viewing of sky objects as well as educational interaction of experienced, knowledgeable astronomers with each other and with participants who may have limited or minimal understanding of astronomy. A typical star party gathering features observing through at least two or more different types of telescopes provided by SAS members along with the opportunity to ask questions, to discuss the observation process, and to learn about many astronomical topics: solar system objects, deep space objects, constellations, types of telescopes, and any other topic of interest.

These star parties are scheduled each month for the Saturday evening closest to the first quarter moon, but the time for beginning each star party varies due to seasonal changes in sunset times. Also, if weather turns out to be unfavorable for observing, a cancellation notice for the affected star party will be posted here on the SAS site home page and in the Through the Clouds SAS forum at least two hours before the scheduled time for the event. Anyone planning to attend a star party should always check these sites for possible notice of cancellation before traveling to a star party site. And even if the weather seems ideal, bringing a warm coat and possibly a warm drink is always a good idea.

The SAS also schedules star parties that are open only to SAS members. But SAS welcomes to the public star parties all who are curious about astronomy and interested in sharing the excitement and reward of astronomical discovery!

Come and share the
excitement & reward of
astronomical discovery

Star Party Dates & Times

Please see maps and directions for more information on the exact location of these star parties and how to get to them.

Please follow us on Twitter at @SeattleAstroSoc to get up-to-minute information of the star parties.

Open-to-All

  • NOV
    01

    Paramount Park Star Party

    Nov 01, 2014 (Sat) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. Open to the public.

  • NOV
    28

    Green Lake Public Star Party

    Nov 28, 2014 (Fri) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    The SAS holds public outreach events once a month at Green Lake, south of the Bathhouse Theater. Come join us and enjoy the stars!

  • NOV
    29

    Paramount Park Star Party

    Nov 29, 2014 (Sat) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. Open to the public.

  • DEC
    26

    Green Lake Public Star Party

    Dec 26, 2014 (Fri) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    The SAS holds public outreach events once a month at Green Lake, south of the Bathhouse Theater. Come join us and enjoy the stars!

  • DEC
    27

    Paramount Park Star Party

    Dec 27, 2014 (Sat) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. Open to the public.

SAS-Members-Only

SAS-members-only star parties, currently held at Snoqualmie Point Park, are not open to the public.

These star parties are scheduled to take place east of Seattle on the one Saturday of each month which is during or closest to the time of the new moon. SAS members may plan attendance at these star parties by checking the calendar or list of events below for the Snoqualmie Point Park Star Party dates and times.

SAS-members-only star parties for the next 6 months are as follows:

  • OCT
    25

    Snoqualmie Point Park Star Party

    Oct 25, 2014 (Sat) at 09:00 PM SAS-Members Only

    The Snoqualmie Point Park Star Party (star party event) scheduled for Oct 25, 2014, 09:00 PM is cancelled due to forecasts of rain, wind and inclement weather.  
    D. Ingram 1:15PM Sat

  • NOV
    22

    Snoqualmie Point Park Star Party

    Nov 22, 2014 (Sat) at 07:00 PM SAS-Members Only

    Open to the SAS members only.

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. We stargaze at the parking lot to the SouthWest of the Park.

  • DEC
    20

    Snoqualmie Point Park Star Party

    Dec 20, 2014 (Sat) at 07:00 PM SAS-Members Only

    Open to the SAS members only.

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. We stargaze at the parking lot to the SouthWest of the Park.

  • FEB
    21

    Snoqualmie Point Park Star Party

    Feb 21, 2015 (Sat) at 07:00 PM SAS-Members Only

    Open to the SAS members only.

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. We stargaze at the parking lot to the SouthWest of the Park.

  • MAR
    21

    Snoqualmie Point Park Star Party

    Mar 21, 2015 (Sat) at 08:00 PM SAS-Members Only

    Open to the SAS members only.

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. We stargaze at the parking lot to the SouthWest of the Park.

  • APR
    18

    Snoqualmie Point Park Star Party

    Apr 18, 2015 (Sat) at 08:00 PM SAS-Members Only

    Open to the SAS members only.

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. We stargaze at the parking lot to the SouthWest of the Park.

SAS Guidelines for Members-Only Star Parties

The Seattle Astronomical Society (SAS) has established the following set of guidelines to be followed at all SAS star parties. These are common sense in nature and intended to maximize everyone’s enjoyment while attending a SAS star party. If you have any questions regarding these guidelines make certain you understand them ahead of arriving at the star party by asking the key master for the event. The key master has final authority during a star party, so please abide by his/her direction.

Some of the listed items below concern lighting during a star party. Proper dark adaptation of the human eye for visual astronomy requires approximately 30 minutes to achieve, and a bright light (of any color) is known to disrupt adaptation and spoil an observer's night vision. Moreover, astronomers who are imaging with sensitive cameras suffer ruined images with bright light intrusion. For the benefit of all, please prepare in advance so that your lights will not disturb others.

  • Make certain you are familiar with the observing site. If you are not familiar with the area, arrive extra early so you are not late. Knowing where you are going can avoid disrupting everyone with your headlights or being locked outside the observing area.
  • You are responsible for your guests and children. If you bring a guest or a child, please share these guideline with them and make certain that the guidelines are well understood and followed faithfully by all attendees.
  • No open fires are permitted. Use a camp stove for cooking. If using a propane or white gas heater in your tent or camper, make certain you have adequate ventilation.
  • No Littering. If no trash containers are provided, carry your garbage out when you leave.
  • No white lights after dark. Use only dim red lights after sundown and only use the minimum light necessary for safety. Make certain all auto door lights, trunk lights and back up lights are heavily shielded. (Pull fuses or unscrew bulbs if necessary.) No White Lights after Dark.
  • Member’s Only star party starting and ending times shall be clearly identified on the SAS website and rigidly observed by all SAS members and enforced by the key master. For members only star parties, no automobile entry or exit from the parking lot will be permitted unless all personal and vehicle white lights have been extinguished or shielded from the view of all other star party attendees. Please do not ask to be the exception to this guideline.
  • No green laser pointers or bright red lights are permitted at members only star parties unless authorized by the key master. If you bring a red light that, in the opinion of the key master, is overly bright, the key master is fully authorized to ask you to further shield or extinguish it. Just because it is red does not mean it will not impact someone else’s night vision.
  • Always park in such a way that facilitates leaving with an absolute minimum of light display to other observers. Park facing towards the exit to avoid illuminating back up lights. Shift quickly and smoothly past Reverse and into Drive. If you are planning to leave early, park close to the exit and as far from other members and their telescopes as possible. Before you turn on any personal or vehicle lights, alert the key master. When given authorization to leave, CALL OUT LOUDLY to all other star party attendees that you are planning to leave and give at least 10 seconds notice, then leave as directly and quickly as you safely can. If you do not bring a telescope, park at least 100 yards from all telescopes and walk into the area. Remember and remind your guests! No White Lights after Dark!
  • Take every precaution to drive safely while in the observing area. If dust is in any way a problem drive slow, . . slower , . . slower. Keep dust at an absolute minimum.
  • Leave small children and pets at home. Generally SAS star parties are family friendly events and kids are welcome. However, with regard to members only star parties, young people must be old enough to follow the more rigid requirement of guideline 5 above. Pets can be a serious safety problem in darkness as trip hazards in and around tripods, batteries, cables, etc.
  • Keep noise to a minimum. Please, no loud radios, tape players, yelling, etc. Keep cell phones on the lowest volume settings and keep phone conversations brief. If you want to listen to personal music, please use headphones.
  • Cell phones, tablets, laptops must be shielded. These devices are surprisingly bright and can disturb the night vision of the user as well as those nearby. Please turn screen brightness to the bare minimum and engage red display mode (if available). For those who plan to use their device throughout the observing session, please use appropriate red filters (e.g., Rubylith).
  • Use Parking Lights Only. Even at the end of the established star party time, when leaving the immediate vicinity of the Observing Site exercise genuine respect for the night vision of any remaining observers. If you have any trouble seeing with just parking lights then ask a friend with a red light to walk ahead of your vehicle until you are well beyond the observing area. No Headlights! Nothing destroys a person’s night vision, spoils an astrophoto or ruins the camaraderie of a lovely star party experience like misdirected car headlights.
  • Never leave anyone alone at the observing site. Some SAS observing sites are in remote locations. Make sure no one is left behind due to car trouble or exposed to roving vandals.

Following these guidelines should allow every attendee to have a fun, safe and enjoyable star party experience. Remember that the key master is an observer too and that he or she deserves to enjoy some quiet observing time.

Outreach

Outreach star parties are hosted by SAS, and are specifically geared toward introducing the general public to astronomy.

  • NOV
    01

    Green Lake Star Party

    Nov 01, 2014 (Sat) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    Join us for an evening of observing the universe.

  • NOV
    01

    Paramount Park Star Party

    Nov 01, 2014 (Sat) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. Open to the public.

  • NOV
    28

    Green Lake Public Star Party

    Nov 28, 2014 (Fri) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    The SAS holds public outreach events once a month at Green Lake, south of the Bathhouse Theater. Come join us and enjoy the stars!

  • NOV
    29

    Paramount Park Star Party

    Nov 29, 2014 (Sat) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. Open to the public.

  • DEC
    26

    Green Lake Public Star Party

    Dec 26, 2014 (Fri) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    The SAS holds public outreach events once a month at Green Lake, south of the Bathhouse Theater. Come join us and enjoy the stars!

  • DEC
    27

    Paramount Park Star Party

    Dec 27, 2014 (Sat) at 06:00 PM Open to Public

    Join us to look up and enjoy the evening sky. Open to the public.