Longmont Astronomical Society

Guidelines for star parties supported by LAS

Our members provide equipment and support  for local schools, city and county recreation departments, Boy and Girl Scout groups, U.S. Forest Service, and other organizations each year. If your group is interested in having LAS members provide equipment and support for your event, please check our star party calendar and then contact our Coordinator with your request.

The best times star parties are near the first quarter moon.  In general we do not support events that near the full moon or the new moon. The star party should start about 45 minutes after sunset and last for about two hours.

Friday nights are usually a good time for school events. The event should begin about 45 minutes to an hour after sunset and end a couple hours later.

You should chose a location that has reasonably clear views to the southeast, south, and southwest. There should be no street lights that are less than a block away in the viewing direction. The glare from street lights is annoying for everyone and makes it very difficult for us to locate objects. If lighting at your location is excessive try contacting your city or county parks department for suggestions.

Keep in mind that some of our telescopes are large and quite heavy; some weigh a couple hundred pounds or more.  It is important that we have nearby access to our vehicles for loading and unloading.

We will set up our telescopes at sunset; it usually takes us about 20 minutes to set them and the same to pack them up.  We do not want or need  any assistance in handling equipment.  

Please provide us with a rough estimate of the number of people attending so we can plan accordingly.  We can handle a maximum of about 150 people per evening.

Typically we only support events that are less than 30 miles from Longmont. Otherwise the travel time and expense is excessive for our members.

We can provide information about the various objects we'll be showing to the students for classroom discussion prior to the event.

In Colorado, the evening sky is cloudy around 40% of the time so cancellation is always a possibility.  Sometimes it pretty obvious that an event should be cancelled though sometimes not.  We try to inform our volunteers at least 3 hours prior to the event if it is to be cancelled.  We will try to reschedule the event if possible.

Copyright Longmont Astronomical Society, 2019. All rights reserved.
The Longmont Astronomical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O.Box 806, Longmont, CO 80502-0806, USA

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