Stars Over Yosemite

yosesm14.jpg

Yosemite National park — July 26 – 28, 2019


Astronomers and Park visitors:

The annual SJAA Yosemite star party is held at Glacier Point. Any park visitor is welcome, there is no fee. Children below age 7 years may have trouble getting up the ladder to the telescopes’ eyepiece.

The astronomer’s camping space is at the Wawona Campground, about 26 miles from the Glacier Point. There is room for several tents. The camping is rough by modern standards: no dining room, no showers, no hot water. The camper limit is 35 feet, but that’s really too big for the sites that we use; a van camper is much preferred.

We are given free admission and camping space. In exchange, we are expected to set up our telescopes for both public star parties at Glacier Point, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. If you have never set up for the public, this is definitely not the place to try it for the first time!

We have the public (about 200 – 300 people) arriving about sunset or somewhat later. By about 11 to 11:30, most of them will have left, and we will have the rest of the night to ourselves.

For all these reasons, this is not suitable for a family camping trip.

We may take a maximum of 30 people, with priority given to SJAA members. We are expected to have at least one public telescope for every two people. If you can tolerate the conditions outlined, write to Ken Miura with the number of people and telescopes. If you would rather arrange your own housing, let Ken know that too, and how many telescopes you’ll set up for the star party.

Ken will mail the gate passes a few weeks before our weekend.

Moonlight

The luck of the date raffle gave us a 3rd quarter moon weekend this year. The Moon will be 23 days old (waning crescent) and rise after midnight on Friday, so we’ll have dark sky for the park visitors.


For those past the 30-person camping limit, or who will make their own arrangements at a motel:

   
Yosemite is your park, and you are welcome come if you arrange your own accommodations. You would be welcome to join us at Glacier Point for the public star party and the general observing afterward.

   
There are several motels in the community of Yosemite West, which is much nearer than the inns on the valley floor. Try googling on “Yosemite West”.

   
If you will set up a telescope, let Ken know that you are coming. Please send a mailing address.


If you have not been to a Glacier Point star party before please peruse the FAQ page for various tips.


[Image: Team 2015 at Yosemite N.P.]

SJAA Team 2015 at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park
Photo: Michael Packer’s camera


[Image: Bear in Glacier Point parking lot]

An unwelcome guest: bear in Glacier Point parking lot.
Photo: Hsin I Huang


[Image: Bear entering lower observing area]

Bear entering near fire ring. Do not bring any food into the observing area, not even sodas!
Photo: Craig Wandke

For 2014 pictures, go to Morris’ Yosemite 2014 page.

For extensive 2006 pictures, go to Morris’ Yosemite 2006 page.


Last updated: 2019 April 30th.