What is the Northern Nights Star Fest?

Northern Nights Star Fest ( NNSF) his is a star party designed to meet the needs of serious observers and astrophotographers.  Informational lectures and other events are tailored to interest experienced amateur astronomers.  Participants bring their own telescopes, or after successful completion of training, use the large scopes belonging to MAS.  All are welcome to register, but should understand that people are paying for and driving hundreds of miles for this event under some of the darkest skies in Minnesota.  Avoid anything (lights, equipment or behavior) that detracts from the dark sky experience.  Flashlights must be dim and red, laptop or camera screens must be dimmed with a red filter (laptops ideally enclosed in a box or other light shield), and equipment with indicator lights other than dim/red should be covered or subdued.

Can my 16-17 year old attend by themselves?

Minors (those 17 or under) can attend if registered, but must be under the supervision of an onsite registered adult.  The minor’s parent or guardian must sign the liability form.

Can I stop in and visit during the NNSF? 

To minimize disruptions to the activities of paying attendees, casual visits are discouraged.  Participation in presentations and observing is intended for registered guests.  MAS does provide other options and venues for exposure to astronomy including free public nights at the Eagle Lake Observatory. For Members there are regular LLCC star parties.

Who can attend NNSF?

Anyone 18 years old or older can register and attend.  MAS Membership  is not required.

Can I park on the observing field?

Vehicles are allowed on the observing field to offload, but then should park in one of the designated parking lots.  There are a limited number of parking spots at the perimeter of the observing field.  These are available on a first come basis.

Can I camp?

NNSF does not have facilities designed to support camping at this time.  An Aitken County campground is located 7 miles away in Palisade, MN.

Do we have to register to attend for a single night?

All of the activities, day or night, are intended for registered guests only.

How much does it cost to come for just one day?

Registration is $50.00 per person.  On site bunk rooms are a minimum of $40.00 (shared, up to 4 per room).  Rooms are generally all reserved prior to the event.

What does it cost for just one night? 

Registration is $50.00 per person.  On site bunk rooms are a minimum of $40.00 (shared, up to 4 per room).  Rooms are generally all reserved prior to the event.

For a one day trip, if I pay do my kids need to also register/pay?

Unlike most MAS star parties, the NNSF is organized with the experienced amateur astronomer in mind.  We do not have special rates for children; all who attend are expected to register and pay for the facility and services offered.  However, we do enjoy sharing the night sky with the community at free public star parties.  These are frequently held at the Eagle Lake Observatory, occasionally at LLCC and are listed in the MAS website calendar.

I am  looking for some dark skies to observe the Perseid meteor shower Wednesday or Thursday night. Is this an event we can just show up to or do we need to call beforehand?

NNSF 2016 takes place several weeks after the Perseid meteor shower peaks.  Occasional meteors are expected during NNSF, but not in the high volume you may observe during a meteor shower.  Call the Long Lake Conservation Center ahead of time to see if you can observe from their location at other times of the year.  All who attend NNSF are expected to register and pay for provided services/facilities.


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