- Upcoming Star Parties
- May 3, 2013 8:30 to 10:30 pm Bells Bend Outdoor Center
- May 18, 2013 8:30 to 10:30 pm Long Hunter State Park
June 22, 2013
8:30 to 10:30 pm
Long Hunter State Park
(Great American Backyard Campout)
- June 28, 2013 8:30 to 10:30 pm Bells Bend Outdoor Center
- July 13, 2013 8:30 to 10:30 pm Adventure Science Center
What is a star party?
Star parties are a great way to become acquainted with the real night sky. Astronomy enthusiasts from all around the area gather under a clear night sky to view the astronomical sights above. It doesn't matter whether you have a degree in astrophysics or you don't know which end of a telescope to look in, everyone is welcome. Even if you're just a beginner, a star party can be a great introduction to the night sky. If you have a telescope or binoculars, bring them along - the more, the merrier!
To escape the effects of light pollution, star parties are often held far away from city lights. Sometimes, though, we'll meet right in front of Adventure Science Center for a look at brighter objects like the Moon and planets.
If you're interested in joining us for a star party, keep this page bookmarked. We'll always have a list of the next few observing sessions scheduled for the Nashville area.
- If the skies are cloudy or worse, the star party will be cancelled. If the skies are iffy, call Sudekum Planetarium's Astroline at (615) 401-5092 to confirm whether the star party will be held or not. Announcements will also be made on our home page.
- Want to familiarize yourself with the current night sky before attending the star party? Check out Sudekum Planetarium's program "Skies Over Nashville," a live tour of the night sky. This is a perfect chance to ask questions about stars, constellations, planets, or any other topic about space or astronomy. See our show schedule for program times.
- Download and print out a copy of Sudekum Planetarium's monthly star chart to bring with you. Copies are also available at the Planetarium.
- Make or buy a red flashlight so you can see your star chart without ruining your night vision. To make one, just find some red cellophane or red cloth to cover the light - so that only red light comes from the flashlight. Red light is much easier on the eyes than the white light that comes from a regular, unfiltered flashlight. You'll be doing yourself (and everyone else at the star party) a big favor!
- For the same reason, please be sure that when you arrive at the star party location, you turn off your car headlights as soon as is safely possible.
- Be sure to dress very warmly in winter! Though it can be a lot of fun, stargazing isn't a very physical activity - you won't be moving around much, and you may get cold sooner than you think!
- If you need to use bug spray or insect repellant, please step away from the telescopes before applying it. The chemicals can damage telescope optics on contact.
- If you're interested in buying a telescope, but don't know what to look for, star parties are the perfect place to try out many different kinds of telescopes, and ask questions to the people who own them.