A Weekend for Star Parties, From Cities to Desert

Long-exposure of stars from Death Valley National Park | Photo: Joe Dsilva/Flickr/Creative Commons License

There was a new moon this week and that means the weekend is full of star parties. Here's what we know (and if you have some that we missed, let us know in the comments!):

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
The free monthly star party hosted by the observatory with the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers is on Saturday, February 25 from 2:00 to 9:45 p.m. More information can be found here.

Mission Trails Regional Park
This large city park -- it's even bigger than L.A.'s Griffith Park -- in San Diego will host a star party run by the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., trail guide and resident star-gazer George Varga will lead the party at the far end of the Kumeyaay Campground's Day Use Parking Lot. Details are at the foundation's website (scroll down).

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Griffith Observatory star party | Photo: Spacemanbobby/Flickr/Creative Commons License
Joshua Tree National Park
The park is having website problems, so this page isn't getting updated, but today we confirmed that there are two night sky programs this weekend. Tonight, Friday, February 24, a star party will be held at the Cottonwood Campground. Another will be held on Saturday, February 25 at the Indian Cove Campground. Both begin at 7:00 p.m., are free, and usually include high-powered telescopes.

Death Valley National Park
Rangers will hold two star parties on Saturday, February 25, at 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. at Borax Works, which is about one mile north of Furnace Creek Ranch on Highway 190. The free programs "consist of night sky viewing through telescopes," according to a news release. "NPS Rangers will point out constellations and explain celestial phenomena in easy to understand language. Visitors can come and go throughout the
evening as they would like."

Even if you can't make it to an event, you can gaze at the night sky on your own. Check KCET's list of the seven best desert night sky spots (although two are listed above) here.

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