Star Parties

Public Star Parties at Eagle Lake Observatory allow MAS members to share our passion of the night sky with the public. Public nights at Eagle Lake are held every other Saturday night March through November.
Eagle Lake ObservatoryNew to Stargazing?

The Sky is the Limit

Join a Star Party

Unless otherwise noted, all Eagle Lake Observatory public star parties are “all weather” events. Even if it is cloudy, someone will be there to show a video, give a presentation, give a tour of the observatory, or answer astronomy questions. However, there may be a need to cancel due to hazardous weather conditions, such as severe thunderstorm, tornados, and/or snow storms. If any of these conditions are threatening, check the MAS Forum after 4 p.m. the day of the event for cancellation notices.

Know Before You Go

Review the Public Event Rules before attending MAS events – these rules supersede other information you may find elsewhere on the website. Please also take a few moments to review the Star Party Guidelines.

Star Party FAQs

Do I need a telescope to attend a star party?

Not at all. In fact, attending star parties is a great way to ‘window shop’ before you make a substantial investment. Star party participants are usually quite willing to share both the good and bad aspects of their telescopes and to let you look through their scopes.

What should I expect at an MAS star party?

A lot of fun! For a complete description of star parties, please visit our Public Star Party Schedule and Beginner’s pages

I recently attended an MAS star party, and no one else showed up! Why?

 It is unusual that no MAS members attend a star party. But it sometimes does happen, even when the star party is announced as being ‘on’. If you require the company of others, either for security, camaraderie or to get your questions answered, you might want to consider attending a public event at our Eagle Lake Observatory. These are always staffed, even when weather conditions prevent observing with the telescopes.

I have a new telescope, or am considering purchasing one. Can someone answer my questions?

This is far and away the most frequent request we receive. Finding a specific individual to answer your questions can sometimes be challenging. Fortunately, there are four options you might consider:

Attend an MAS star party: As noted above, this is a great opportunity to see many types of telescopes in action and speak directly with their owners.

Visit a public event at the Eagle Lake Observatory: There are always MAS members available at these events to answer your questions about purchasing a telescope.

Join the MAS mailing list and post an inquiry: This is probably the best way to find someone willing to provide one-on-one assistance with the operation of your telescope.

Join the Beginner’s Special Interest Group of the MAS: If you are a member of the MAS, this is a fantastic way to learn the ins and outs of your newly purchased equipment or to learn about your options. The Beginner’s SIG regularly conducts observing sessions with the objective of helping each other out with equipment and observing questions.

I understand the MAS has telescopes I can borrow. How do I get one?

Loaner equipment reservations are managed by the Loaner Scope Coordinator of the Society. Information regarding equipment is available on the Loaner Telescope page.