10th Annual Camping with the Stars

July 28, 29, & 30, 2017

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 10th annual Camping with the Stars taking place at the Eagle Lake Observatory.

In the spring of 2008, the MAS was approached by REI and Astronomy magazine to host one of their “Campout with the Stars” events for 2008. Nationwide, there were dozens of similar events throughout the summer hosted by astronomy clubs across the country. That first year success coupled with the 2009 International Year of Astronomy prompted us to continue the tradition.

The MAS Eagle Lake Observatory is 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.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, sand volleyball court, group camping area and horseshoe pits and an 18 hole disc golf course.


2017 CWTS Registration fees    (subject to change)

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

 

Utility Campsite in family campground + MAS EVENT Registration $103.00

Primitive Campsite in family campground + MAS EVENT Registration $89.00

Group Camp Setting in Ball field below the observatory + MAS EVENT Registration $70.00

Daily Admissions (not camping) to MAS EVENT $10.00/person/day

 

* Registration fees include:

– Two nights of camping

– Vehicle parking permit for the weekend

– Wristband for MAS Activities

– Door prize drawing tickets (one per person)

* All registration fees are for up to 4 people. Extra Person – $5/each for weekend

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

 



Schedule of events   –  (subject to change)


Friday July 28

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 other daytime objects.


Scheduled Speakers

7:00 – Bob Kerr – Topic: Our Search for Alien Life: How Close Are We?  Our rovers are exploring Mars, and we’ve launched spacecraft to the farthest reaches of the solar system looking for signs of “alien life” – life not of earth.  At the same time, we’re probing distant stars and discovering thousands of strange worlds.  So, how close are we to answering the question: are we alone?  Let’s talk about that.  We’ll also include new exoplanet discoveries, as well as the upcoming launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, the next generation planet hunter.
8:00 – TBD
10:15 – Live Laser Tour of the Night Sky (Weather permitting) – Step out to the plaza, and get a guided tour of the night sky. Learn to find the North Star, the planets and more.

Saturday July 29

The observatory will open by 1:00 pm on Saturday for daytime viewing of the sun, stars & planets (if clear).


12:00 – 2:00 –  Baylor Park has scheduled a Stand up paddle board program.  Registration is $10 and they will take registrations until 11am that day.



Scheduled Speakers

2:00 – TBD
3:00 – Parke Kunkle – Topic: Update on the Bell Museum + Planetarium
4:00 – Jake Harrell – Topic: What’s Up
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 – Dave Falkner – Topic: The Grand Finale: The Cassini-Huygens Mission – Dave Falkner, MAS Member and NASA Solar System Ambassador, talks about NASA’s very successful mission to the Saturnian system, some of the significant discoveries and why NASA is ending this mission in September, 2017.
8:00 Door prize drawing in the HotSpot Classroom. (MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN)
8:30  Raffle prize drawing in the HotSpot Classroom.
10:15 – Live Laser Tour of the Night Sky (Weather permitting) – Step out to the plaza, and get a guided tour of the night sky. Learn to find the North Star, the planets and more.


Sunday July 30


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. 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.
  • Lunt 152 Ha Solar telescope and other solar filters allow safe viewing of the Sun’s surface, prominence 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.

 


Location

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.