Star Parties

Public Star Parties at the Eagle Lake Observatory usually begin at 7 pm and last until 10 pm or possibly later. Public Observing Nights are held whether it is clear or cloudy, with the possible exception for hazardous weather conditions** (see below). There is no fee for attending and members, guests and visitors are all invited. Please note that Carver County parks charges a nominal daily parking fee. For additional information or directions, click the link below or visit the Eagle Lake Observatory web page.

Eagle Lake Observatory Frequently asked Questions

With the exception of the Messier Marathon, Virgo Venture, and the Mini-Messier Marathon, all MAS star parties at Cherry Grove and LLCC are no longer officially called ”ON” or ”OFF” based on the weather.  Individual members are expected to determine for themselves whether or not the weather will be appropriate for observing.
If you are planning to spend time observing at any of our observing sites – Joseph J. Casby, Cherry Grove, or Eagle Lake – consider placing a note on the observing forum (HERE) to let others know of your intentions. Who knows, you may get visitors!


Always  check the MAS hotline (952.467.2426) after 6:00 p.m. on the date of the event for the “go/no-go” decision and other information.

Dark, starry skies.  Telescopes of every size and description.  Good company.  Add it all up and you’ve got the makings of  an MAS ‘star party’.


The Minnesota Astronomical Society holds star parties three weekends a month, beginning in March and continuing through December.  They are usually scheduled for Friday evenings, but if poor weather is forecast they are rescheduled to Saturday evening.

Please visit the ‘Events‘ section of our site at for a listing of upcoming star parties.


The Minnesota Astronomical Society conducts its star parties at one of three locations — the Metcalf Nature Center near Afton (, Baylor Regional Park, north of Norwood-Young America ( and its Cherry Grove Observatory, southwest of Cannon Falls (

Complete information about each site including directions and available facilities is available at


Visitors are welcome at MAS parties.  If you have never attended a star party you  may find the Star Party Etiquette page ( useful.  (If you want to bring a group, please visit our “Outreach” page,,  for information on how to contact us in advance so we can better meet your needs.)

[Note:  Visitors should keep in mind that while a dozen or more  members may attend a typical star party, it is possible that no MAS members will choose to attend a given star party, even if the star party is announced as a “go” for the evening.  If you desire the presence of MAS members when visiting a star party, either for informational or security reasons, you might want to consider an Eagle Lake Observatory public night.  These events are always staffed by MAS volunteers . Visit for information about the observatory and its public nights.]