Richmond Astronomical Society

2016 Star Parties

Jan 14th, 2016 | By | Category: Blog

Lots of star party opportunities in the mid-Atlantic region.  Below are the ones for which we have information.  If you would like another event to be listed, please send a note to


Staunton River Star Party, March 9-13, Staunton River State Park: Registration is now open for the spring installment of the Staunton River Star Party!  More information at  For those that have not attended this party it is distinguished by being held at the newest International Dark Sky Park in the eastern US.  Staunton River State Park has been incredibly supportive of the party and dark sky preservation in the area.  Plus they are just real plain nice to us!  If you can make it to this star party, it’s worth your time and a great experience to observe the sky with other astronomy enthusiasts in a beautiful setting under a dark sky.

Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF), April 9-10, Suffern, NY, Rockland Community CollegePremier astronomy and space expo.  Information at

East Coast Star Party, Coinjock, NC, May 6-8:  Fun and casual observing in a dark sky, coastal environment with the friendliest astronomers anywhere.  Contact Kent Blackwell for information at

Delmarva Stargaze XXII, May 5-8, Trap Pond State Park, near Laurel, Delaware:  Hosted by the Delmarva Stargazers.  Information at

Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies, date to be announced:  This year to be hosted at Roanoke College.  Information to be posted as it becomes available.

Cherry Springs Star Party, June 2- 5, Cherry Springs State Park, near Coudersport, PA:  Hosted by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg, PA.  More information at:

Green Bank Star Quest, July 6-9, Green Bank, WV:  The Green Bank Star Quest is a star party where there is a lot to do and see even if cloudy weather limits observing.  The event is held at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory facility in Green Bank, WV.  More information at and on their Facebook page.

York County Star Party (YCSP), July 27-31, York County State Park, York County, PA:  This star party is replacing the Mason Dixon Star Party (MDSP). Same site, same volunteers, same chairperson. More information at  Our own John Raymond will be presenting at the party.  This is the first year of the new star party and they could use support from the astro-community to get it going.

ALCon, August 10-13, Washington, DC:  This year’s national convention of the Astronomical League will be held in Washington, DC, hosted by the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club.  This annual convention is an excellent opportunity to meet with amateur astronomers from across the nation.  Plus the convention this year is very convenient to Richmond!  It has been a number of years since the convention was held in a location so near to our area.  Information on location and registration is in your latest issue of the Reflector magazine, which you should receive if you are member of RAS since your membership in RAS automatically covers membership in the Astronomical League.  Also see the Astronomical League’s web site at and at for additional information.

Almost Heaven Star Party, September 2-6, Spruce Knob, WV:  Hosted by the Mountain Institute at a high altitude dark site.  Information at

Black Forest Star Party, September 2-4, Cherry Springs State Park, near Coudersport, PA:  Hosted by the Central Pennsylvania Observers.  More information at

East Coast Star Party, Coinjock, NC, October 20-22:  Kent Blackwell is kindly hosting his East Coast Star Party again this Fall at the Hampton Lodge Campground which offers casual stargazing in a coastal environment.  Pre-registration is not required.  Fees are $20 for star party registration, $20 per night camping fee (additional fee for R/V sites).  Contact Kent for more information at

Bays Mountain Starfest, October 21-23, Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium, Kingsport, TN:  The event is a non-profit, three-day, astronomical convention/star gathering hosted by the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club and Bays Mountain Planetarium filled with all sorts of astronomical treats! The event is going to be great as usual with fantastic speakers, food, and friends.  The them this year is the Marhsal Space Flight Center with four keynote speakers.  Registration closes on September 30, 2016 or if we fill up early – no walk-in registration allowed.  More information at this link:

Staunton River Star Party, October 24-30, Staunton River State Park:  Registration is now open for the October installment of the Staunton River Star Party.  For those that have not attended, this is an excellent star party with dark skies, convenient amenities and a state park staff that is very welcoming to astronomers and second to none in their dedication to making this a successful event.  More info is at

Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies (VAAS), October 29, Roanoke College, Salem, VA:  Registration is now live for the 40th annual conference of the Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies (VAAS)!  This year’s gathering will be hosted by the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society, of Roanoke, Virginia, and the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics of Roanoke College.  The site of the conference is the Colket Center at Roanoke College, in Salem, Virginia.  The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues through 4:00 p.m.

The centerpiece of the conference is the line-up of four extraordinary speakers, Dr. Brad Barlow, Mr. Steve Conard, Dr. Dwight Holland and Dr. Harold (“Hal”) McAlister, representing a wide spectrum of astronomical and space science fields that will be of interest to all.  An observing session may be held that evening on the Blue Ridge Parkway, if sufficient interest is indicated by those registering in advance.

For full information regarding the 2016 VAAS annual conference, please visit our website at

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  1. please post this party, the York County Star Party (YCSP), ASAP. dates are July 27-31 and replaces the Mason Dixon Star Party (MDSP). Same site, same volunteers, same chairperson. please check out the website.
    I have been chair for the MDSP for 13 of its 26 years, and the club decided to cease supporting it. This year is the First York County Star Party, and I would appreciate anything you could do to help me get this one established. One of your members has attended in the past and is planning to attend this one. He will be speaking at the YCSP.

  2. sorry, it’s late. the member’s name is John Raymond.

  3. We have it posted in our updates and I mentioned it at our last meeting. Thanks for passing along the information. Best of wishes getting the party going. John is a great supporter of astro-events. He will give a good presentation and be an asset to the party.

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