Nobles County Library's Star Party
November 18th, 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
NE of Minnesota West Community College Parking Lot Next to the Observatory
Please call or email the library to register!
What is a Star Party?
A star party is a gathering of amateur and professional astronomers for the purpose of observing objects and events in the sky. Local star parties may be one-night affairs, but larger events can last up to a week or longer and attract hundreds or even thousands of participants. Many clubs have monthly star parties during the warmer months. Large regional star parties are held annually and are an important part of the hobby of amateur astronomy. A naturally dark site away from light pollution is typical.
Participants bring telescopes and binoculars of all types and sizes and spend the nights observing astronomical objects such as planets, comets, stars, and deep-sky objects together. Astrophotography and CCD imaging are also very popular. At larger star parties, lectures, swap meets, exhibitions of home-built telescopes, contests, tours, raffles, and other similar activities are common. Commercial vendors selling a variety of astronomical equipment may also be present. As with other hobbyist gatherings, much camaraderie and discussion of various aspects of the hobby occurs at any star party.
Do I need to register?
Registering is not required for the event, but we highly recommend registering so we have enough safety glasses for everyone that attends. Those without safety glasses may not be able to look through Mike Lynch's or other telescopes due to personal COVID restrictions. You can register by selecting "Going To" on the Facebook page event or you can contact us at:
507-372-5340 or email@example.com .
Do I have to bring a telescope?
No! A star party is not just for amateur astronomers and astrophotographers. They are open to the public from those that have just a little bit of interest in the stars to individuals that just want to get out and see what is going on. At this star party we will have two classes of individuals: Observers and Participants.
Observers are folks that wish to just come by and watch the proceedings. You don't have to bring anything besides a chair and yourself. If you want to be a little more involved binoculars are also suggested. Some of the astronomers may offer observers to take a look through their telescope so you don't miss out on all the fun! Mike Lynch will also have his arsenal of telescopes available for public viewing.
Participants are those folks that bring their own telescopes, from small starter telescopes to large expensive devices that can see Galaxies, Star Systems and more! Remember though, some of these devices cost time and money and you should always ask before looking through one if the astronomer does not give you a verbal invitation.
For those that are bringing telescopes you are free to allow or block use to your telescope to the public. Please be polite while telling an Observer so.
Isn't it going to be cold?
We are having a outside program during the middle of November and at night. So be prepared for possible chilly or cold conditions. Bring blankets, coats, gloves, and any other protection against the elements. If the weather becomes too cold we will fall back to our plan B and move the program inside to the theater where our speakers will discuss their professions and other events they have attended.
Will there be COVID restrictions?
COVID is still a very serious matter currently and for those vaccinated and unvaccinated we will take every precaution possible. One of our guests (Mike Lynch) does request the use of eye protection (Safety glasses or Goggles) so there is no direct facial contact when using his telescopes. You may bring your own eye protection if you would like but the Library will be offering a limited supply to those that ask for them. It is best to register with the library so you can be guaranteed a set of glasses!
In case we are required to go inside we are obligated to follow the Minnesota West Community & Technical College's COVID policies. This means there will be social distancing, masks worn at all times and the possibility of using a overflow room if we have a turnout greater then 50. The college has been very gracious to allow us to use their facilities so lets respect their wishes and follow guidelines.
For everyone that would like to have more precaution please feel free to wear masks whenever you feel they are needed. Some participants may bring hand sanitizer and request you use it before touching a telescope. These are their personal tools and we ask you to respect their wishes.
Who are the presenters?
Make the stars your old friends as we watch the great celestial show in the skies over Worthington. We’ll have giant telescopes aimed at Jupiter, Saturn, star clusters, galaxies, and more. Live video telescopes will also be available. Get to know constellations like The Big Bear, Cygnus the Swan, Pegasus the Winged Horse, and others. Great constellation mythological stories will also be featured!
Mike Lynch is a retired WCCO meteorologist and has been hosting star watch parties and teaching astronomy classes since 1972. He also writes a weekly stargazing column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and is the author of the book “Stars, a Month by Month Tour of the Constellations.” It’ll be available for purchase at a discount. Super cool glow-in-the-dark star shirts will also be available for sale.
Ok, I'm in, where do I go?
We will be hosting our star party NE of the college in the field next to the parking lot. This is also the location of Minnesota West Community College's Observatory! Paul Seifert will be staffing the telescope and displaying what it sees to the public on a digital display. For more help finding the location take a look at the map below.
We hope to see all of you at the Star Party, please keep an eye here and on our Facebook for any changes to the event and if we will have to go to plan B. If you have any questions or would like to register for the event please call the library at 507-295-5340 or you can send a email to firstname.lastname@example.org .