Status and schedule of school star parties

List of assigned dates   List of available dates

For SJAA club events, see the SJAA calendar page.

Watch this line for final status on event day

Parents: please see some tips for enjoying the night sky.

==================================================== Watch this space for details of coming events ====================================================

Assigned dates. Grouped by week. See the next section for available dates.

 July  7, Thur - Stanford University, Tech Trek (not SJAA event, some SJAA members assist)
 July 12, Thur - Stanford University, Tech Trek (not SJAA event, some SJAA members assist)

 Oct.  7, Fri -- St. Timothy Elementary, San Jose           

 Nov.  8, Tue -- Almaden Branch Library, SE San Jose        

Available dates.   See the previous section for assigned dates.

Desirability is determined by the phase of the Moon. The moon is spectacular and well-liked, very desirable for a star party. Such dates are:


  May - no dates with the evening moon.

Dates with no moon in the evening sky are more plentiful. There are many star clusters, colorful double stars, etc., so the sky is very rewarding. Consider:


  May  25-28, 30-31                       9:30. PDT started on March 13 
The school star party program is on vacation during June and July.

Too much moon (over 75% illuminated) makes it difficult to show anything but a few bright objects, so we try to stay away from the nearly-full moon. It's a poor show, and not fair to the students (nor to the astronomers).

Approximate start times by grade, through the school year

early August    9:15  ** high school only
  mid August    9:00  ** "
early September 8:45  *  high and middle
  mid September 8:15     all grades
early October   7:45
  mid October   7:30
early November  6:15  After DST ended on Nov.1, 2015
  mid November  6:00
  all December  6:00
early January   6:00  Start 2016
  mid January   6:15
early February  6:30
  mid February  6:45
early March     7:00
  mid March     7:15  DST began on March 13, 2016
  mid March     8:15  After DST started
 late March     8:30
early April     8:30  *  high and middle
  mid April     8:45  *  "
early May       9:00  ** high only
  mid May       9:15  ** "
 late May       9:30  ** "  
 *   Not recommended for elementary schools.
**  Not recommended for elementary nor for middle schools.

Running times; setup and takedown allowances:

   Ideally, a star party should run two hours, allowing time for everyone to look through each telescope, then move some of the scopes to additional targets. But ninety minutes is a practical minimum.

   In addition, allow 90 minutes before the start time for the astronomers to set up, and 30 minutes afterward to pack the telescopes.

Optional details about start times: These details are not important when scheduling a star party in the greater San Jose area.

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Mail  to Jim Van Nuland.

Latest update: 2016 May 20, 1240

Remove past events, tinker with formats