Camping with the Stars

August 1, 2, & 3, 2014

Eagle Lake Observatory at Baylor Regional Park

Onan Observatory • Sylvia A. Casby Observatory • HotSpot Classroom

10775 County Rd 33, Norwood Young America, MN


CWTSiconThe Minnesota Astronomical Society invites you to the 7th annual Camping with the Stars taking place at the Eagle Lake Observatory, located within Carver County Baylor Regional Park, about 45 minutes Southwest of Minneapolis and 3 miles north of Norwood-Young America. For additional Information on the MAS Eagle Lake Observatory, visit the Eagle Lake Observatory webpage.


Featured this year in cooperation with NASA, there will be a special exhibit commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Apollo landings on the moon. The exhibit will feature a 3.3 billion year old lunar rock returned to earth by the astronauts of Apollo 15. In addition, there will be displays of Apollo mission photographs, illustrations, and maps. DO NOT miss this opportunity to see a piece of the moon for yourself and learn about what can be considered the greatest adventure in history that brought this rock back to earth and ultimately to you.

Eagle Lake Observatory consists of the Onan Observatory, the Sylvia A. Casby Observatory and the HotSpot Classroom. Each observatory is handicap accessible, state-of-the-art facilities with robotic telescopes ranging from 4 inches to 20 inches of aperture and are ready to show you the skies. Come see the stars through our five telescope platforms that include a 14” and 16” Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes, 8” TMB design refractor as well as numerous other telescopes or sit back and enjoy live video of planets, star clusters, galaxies and nebula on the observatory imaging system. Enjoy a tour of the sky by one of our dedicated volunteers or bring your own telescope. There will be talks, prizes, solar viewing, and fun activities throughout the day and into the night.

Baylor Regional Park offers 50 camping sites. Thirty-five sites have water and electrical hookups and 15 sites are primitive. For the Camping with the Stars event, the park opens up additional campsites at the foot of our observatories where you can set up your own scope or take the short walk to view through some of the best amateur telescopes available. Other facilities include: picnic areas, showers, swimming beach, beach house, reservable picnic shelters, tennis courts, sand volleyball court, group camping area and horseshoe pits and an 18 hole disc golf course.


2014 Registration fees


Utility Campsite in family campground + MAS EVENT Registration $87.00

Primitive Campsite in family campground + MAS EVENT Registration $75.00

Group Camp Setting in Ball field below the observatory + MAS EVENT Registration $51.00

Extra Person – $5/each for weekend

Daily Admissions (not camping) to MAS EVENT $10.00/person/day* All registration fees are for up to 4 people

* Registration fees include:

– Two nights of camping

– Vehicle permits

– Wristband for MAS Activities

– Door prize drawing


Call the Carver County Park Office at 952-466-5250 to register and reserve your spot.


Schedule of events

(subject to change)

Friday August 1

Check-in for campers begins Friday afternoon. Check-in will be at the Baylor Park office. After your checked in and set up, stop by the observatory where we will be starting the weekend with a Star Party beginning at 7:00 pm. We will begin with solar viewing and daytime objects including the Moon, Saturn and Mars.

Scheduled Speakers

7:00   Bob Kerr – Topic: Apollo +45, When Humans Walked on the Moon – As we mark the 45th anniversary of the Apollo lunar landings, we’ll explain why we went to the moon and what it took to get us there. We’ll see what the Apollo astronauts discovered, how the rock samples they brought to earth help tell the story of the moon’s origin, and look at the mysteries that still remain.

After Bob’s presentation we will open up the classroom for viewing of the lunar sample display for the remainder of the evening.

Saturday August 2

The observatory will open by Noon on Saturday for daytime viewing of the sun, stars & planets (if clear). From noon to 2:00 we will also have the HotSpot Classroom open for viewing of the lunar sample display.

Scheduled Speakers

2:00   Jonathan Poppele – Topic: “What is the Best Time to Observe the Night Sky? Twilight, Moon Phases & the Dance of the Planets” – When is best time to go Stargazing? What is astronomical twilight? What affect does the moon have on observing? What is the best time to observe the planets? Come explore these topics together with Jonathan Poppele, author of the award-winning “Night Sky: A Field Guide to the Constellations.”
3:00   Lindsay Emert – Topic: Planispheres – This will be a hands-on session designed for people new to observing. You will learn some basic observing terms, make a simple planisphere (year-round star chart) and learn how to use it. If it is clear out, you will be able to use it right away! All materials are provided. This session is suitable for both children and adults.
4:00   Bill Arden – Topic: Astronomy 101 – “Interested in astronomy, but don’t know where to start? Astronomy 101 will answer your basic questions – and more. What’s the difference between a star and a planet? What’s a constellation? A galaxy? What are the different kinds of telescopes? And what happened to Pluto, anyway?”
5:30   MAS B-SIG Cookout & Potluck Picnic / Supper break – Beginner Special Interest Group (B-SIG) will be hosting a potluck cookout for registered campers and MAS members. Bring chips, a salad, a dish or a dessert and join the feast.
7:00   Ron Schmit – Topic: “This is Big” – Astronomy is the science of extremes: the hottest, the coldest, the nearest, the farthest, the slowest the fastest, the smallest and the BIGGEST. Thus, it requires our concession, because despite our incredulity, a star really is that hot, the galaxies really are that big, and a pulsar really does spin that fast! Let’s take a tour of the biggest thing EVER: our universe!
8:00   Door prize drawing in the HotSpot Classroom. (MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN)
8:30   Raffle prize drawing in the HotSpot Classroom.
10:00   Ron Schmit – Laser constellation tour – Step out to the plaza, and get a guided tour of the night sky. Ever wonder how to fnd the North Star? We’ll show you a neat little trick so you’ll find it every time. Want to find the planets in the sky? We’ve got a trick for that, too! Watch in amazment as we turn the sky into a real live planetarium! If it’s cloudy, we’ll simulate the sky with the digital projector inside the Hot Spot classroom.


Sunday August 3

The observatory will open by 8:00 am on Sunday for daytime viewing of the sun, stars & planets (if clear).

8:00 am   Continental Breakfast – Morning coffee & donuts (Juice for the kids) – Celebrate the day of the Sun with views through the solar observing telescopes and binoculars at Onan. The observatory will be open throughout the morning and early afternoon. Activities conclude at 2:00 pm.

 The MAS Eagle Lake Observatory 

Onan Observatory

  • More than a dozen telescopes to view through, are among the finest amateur telescopes available.
  • Real-time video viewing capabilities for lunar, planetary and deep-sky viewing.
  • Solar filters allow safe viewing of the Sun’s surface, sunspots and solar prominences.
  • Mounted 15×80 binoculars for the ultimate “wide-field” stargazing experience.
  • Electrical outlets on the outside of the building for those who bring their own scopes.
  • Paved handicap parking adjacent to the wheelchair accessible observatory.

Sylvia A. Casby Observatory

  • Our newest domed observatory houses three telescopes on a AP 3600 mount.
  • 8″ TMB design refractor and Mewlon 300 telescopes for excellent planetary and deep-sky viewing.
  • Solar filters allow safe viewing of the Sun’s surface and sunspots.
  • Real-time video viewing capabilities for lunar, planetary and deep-sky viewing.
  • Electrical outlets on the outside of the building for those who bring their own scopes.

HotSpot Classroom

  • Heated and air-conditioned seating for as many as 80.
  • Ten foot projection screen for video presentations.
  • Real-time video viewing capabilities from the observatories telescopes.


Baylor Regional Park is roughly 25 miles southwest of the Eden Prairie, MN and just north of Norwood-Young America. It is easily reached either by Minnesota Highway 5 or U.S. Highway 212. For a map & directions click HERE for interactive map.

For additional Information on the MAS Eagle Lake Observatory, visit the Eagle Lake Observatory Website.