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NIGHTLAPSE BY SAM MORSE

ANTELOPE ISLAND STAR PARTY INFO

Our Antelope Island public star parties are our most highly anticipated and attended events of the year.

Check out the FAQs below before reaching out as most typical questions are answered here.

Also please be mindful of parking and white light emitted from you headlights, wearables, and mobile devices as it will hinder your viewing experience. It takes around 30 minutes for our eyes to adapt to the dark. 

FRIENDLY TIPS:
 
  1. Turn off your automatic headlights when entering and exiting the area.

  2. Try to park facing away (North or West) of the viewing area. 

  3. Dim all wearables and mobile devices.

  4. Bring a headlamp or flashlight capable of emitting red light. Red light doesn't affect our night vision the way white light does. 

  5. Be mindful of tripods and telescopes. When observing, try to use only your eyes pressed to the eyepiece as it's quite easy to bump the scope and lose the object in view.

  6. Ask lots of questions! We're here to educate and have fun!  

 

FAQs
  • How do I join?
    Please contact us through this site, reach out to one of our executive committee, or even better- come out to one our meetings/events. We currently accept checks or cash. We realize this may be hindering- and are looking at future payment processing options subject to overhead costs.
  • Do I have to become a member to come to an event?
    While we don't require you to become a member to join us in our adventures, your membership keeps the society operating and affords us to do more within our group as well as in the community.
  • Where does my $20 go?
    Membership dues go to: - Maintaining and hosting this website - Maintaining the society's scopes - Printing costs public event flyers, signs, and other collateral
  • Do I have to own a telescope to join?
    Not at all! In fact, if you haven't bought one yet, that's even better! We love to assist new astronomers in selecting their first telescope. Chances are, what you've been looking at may not be a good fit.
  • What type of events do you do?
    We get together for fun activities, including hosting public star parties, and going on camping trips to some of the darkest skies in the western USA, We also join together for special celestial events like eclipses, occultations, and transits.
  • What happens at your monthly meetings?
    We typically we have some society business and housekeeping items followed by discussions, presentations, or workshops. Some are facilitated by society members and other times, we'll have guests from local universities or the greater astronomy community.
  • Where do you hold your monthly meetings?
    For the 2023- 2024 year (September - April), we'll be meeting at the Weber County Library Pleasant Valley Branch located in South Ogden near Ogden Regional Hospital. Google Map Link
  • What is the Astronomy League?
    It costs $5 annually to join The Astronomical Leagues objective is to promote the science of astronomy by fostering astronomical education by providing incentives for astronomical observation and research; by assisting communication among amateur astronomical societies. The Astronomical League is composed of over two hundred and forty local amateur astronomical societies from all across the United States. These organizations, along with our Members-at-Large, Patrons, and Supporting members form one of the largest amateur astronomical organizations in the world. Learn more at https://www.astroleague.org/reflector/
  • What time does the star party start and end?
    We start within the last hour of daylight (for solar telescope observation) and typically end when the crowds thin or we're falling asleep at our scopes. Typically, this is around 11:00pm - 1:00am. See our events page for upcoming dates and start times.
  • Does it cost to participate?
    We host our star parties free of charge. Antelope Island State Park charges $15 per vehicle to access the causeway and the island. This is paid at the entrance gate on the mainland. They take cash and card.
  • Where on the island are you located?
    We host the parties in the White Rock Bay campground and trailhead parking lot. The exact address can be located on Google Maps here: https://goo.gl/maps/1UPogKdrhW9eKSeW7 Or searching "Syracuse, White Rocks Campground Rd, Syracuse, UT 84075, USA" There will be signs posted throughout the island to guide you there! Look for red and white signage that says "Public Star Party." Please try to park facing away (North or West) from the observation area if possible.
  • How late can I enter or leave the island? Will I be locked in?
    The state park's entrance gate closes at 10:00pm. The exit gate is on a motion sensor that will allow us to leave at anytime throughout the night. However, reentry is not possible after the gate closes.
  • What should I bring?
    This is important ! Here's a few tips: 1. Mosquitos can be awful or they can be sparse. It's recommend you bring long sleeves, pants, and closed toe shoes. Bug spray is also a MUST! 2. A headlamp or flashlight capable of emitting a red beam. White light from your headlights, wearables, mobile devices, any other electronic devices will ruin your night vision as well as anyone else's that's near you. It typically takes 30 minutes for our eyes to adjust and "see" well. 3. Snacks and Hydration: Warm summer nights are great, but being on your feet looking through telescopes can take it's toll.
  • How often do you host Antelope Island star parties?
    We host them April - October excluding July on the closest Saturday to the new moon (opposite of when it's full). See our events page for specific dates and times.
  • Are they family friendly?
    Our star parties are great gateway experience for young astronomers. We often have religious and scout groups attend most events. We'll have step stools or small ladders for those vertically challenged folks that can't reach the eye piece of the telescopes (yes, we have some big scopes that are over 6 ft. tall).
  • Do I have to own a telescope to participate?
    Absolutely not! Our team of volunteer astronomers will be on site with their telescopes and expertise to provide a fun experience. And hopefully, open your eyes to the night sky. If you own a telescope or binoculars, feel free to bring them. Subject to the crowd size, we may be able to assist in helping you set up and learn your equipment.
  • How accessible is the observation area?
    The roads are paved 90% of the way and the last 1/4 mile is a well maintained gravel road that is suited for cars. The star party is held in a flat level dirt parking lot at the White Rock Bay Campground and trailhead. It's easily walkable and free of ruts, rocks and other ankle-harming objects. Wheel chairs and those needing assistance can ambulate easily through the area. ADA parking is available close to the observation area. Vault restrooms are available on site.
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