James River State Park Star Party

James River State Park will be hosting an astronomer’s observing weekend November 1-3, 2019. Many thanks to RAS member John Raymond for arranging this with the park and to Laura Rann with the park staff for coordinating the event.  This location is one of the darkest sites in Virginia east of the mountains. The fee is $15 for one night or $25 for two nights.  Participants can pay at the visitor center prior to the event or you can call in advance and pay by credit card by calling (434) 933-8527. See below in the News section of this e-mail for more information.   We will be using the entire amphitheater area for camping and observing. There will be limited electrical outlets but not on the field. There will be a heated bathroom nearby. We can also use the regular campground showers. The visitors center has limited WiFi.

A Google map showing the location of James River State Park is here.

The general plan is below:

1. We will have astronomers observing and camping in the amphitheater area.
2. After sunset, the amphitheater road will be closed to car traffic at the shelter.
3. Visitors can park at the shelter and leave during the night.
4. Astronomers who plan to leave during the night can park at the shelter, or park on the road just past the shelter, car facing the exit. Astronomers who want to engage the public will also use this area.
5. The imaging field will be for photographers. Anyone using this field is there for the night. Only drive away in case of emergency.
6. The loop and lower parking will be for general astronomers who are staying the night. Only drive away in case of emergency.

Park website https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/james-river