Status and schedule of school star partiesList of assigned dates
For SJAA club events, see the SJAA calendar page.
Watch this space for coming events
Assigned dates. See the following section for available dates.==================================================== 2017 Nov.24 -- Faria Elementary School SSet 4:52, start 6:00 Friday 10144 Barbara Lane 36% moon sets 10:18 pm. Cupertino, CA 95014 Contact: Elanchelvan Elango (Elan) 1-650-743-6991 at 11:00 am First time at this school. GPS: In Cupertino, go to intersection of Barbara Lane and Scofield Drive. Look south, see entrance to the parking lot, on the right. Enter, bear left. Pick up the text paragraph below. From Hwy.85, exit at De Anza Blvd. Go north. N 1.3 mi. to Rodrigues Ave. Light. Left. W 0.3 mi. to Western Drive. Road bends right. N >0.1 mi., Western comes to Schofield on the right. N, W, Continue, street name changes to Schofield. W, SW ~0.1 mi. to Barbara Lane. Barbara Lane bends left. Immediately see the school entrance on the right. Enter, then turn left. Continue south, nearly to the far end. See a three-pipe gate on the right, with the middle pipe unlocked or removed. Enter, pass the buildings on the right. Bear half-right and go to the opposite (diagonal) corner. See two ball walls each labeled "4/5" (but without the quote marks). It's just north of a grassy area. LIGHTS; there is a row of portable classrooms at the south side of the open area. Three on the west have lights on the doors. They will have to be covered or turned off. ====================================================
Nov. 24, Mon - Faria Elementary, Cupertino 6:00 start Nov. 27, Mon - Leyva Middle, San Jose 6:00 start Dec. 6, Wed -- Holding, San Martin 6:00 start Dec. 7, Thur - ACE Esperanza Middle 6:00 start Dec. 8, Fri -- Holding, Gilroy 6:00 start Dec. 12, Fri -- Rachel Carson Elementary, San Jose 6:00 start Dec. 13, Fri -- Country Lane Elementary San Jose 6:00 start 2018: Jan. 12, Fri -- Holding, Santa Clara 6:15 start Jan. 19, Fri -- Holding, Santa Clara 6:15 start Jan. 23, Tue -- Holding, San Jose 6:15 start Jan. 24, Wed -- Holding, Santa Clara 6:30 start Jan. 25, Thur - Murdock Portal Elementary 6:30 start Jan. 26, Fri -- Holding, San Jose 6:30 start Feb. 13, Tue -- Lakewood Elementary 6:45 start Mar. 8, Thur - Loma Prieta Elementary Los Gatos 7:00 start Nov. 16, Fri -- Holding, Milpitas 6:00 startAvailable dates. See the previous section for assigned dates.
Desirability is determined by the phase of the Moon. The moon is spectacular, very desirable for a star party. Such dates are:
2017 Approx. Start Time December 22 - 23, 28 - 29 6:00 PST 2018 Approx. Start Time January 22 - 25 6:30 PST February 18 - 25 7:00 PST March 21 - 26 8:15 DST April 20 - 24 8:30 DST May 18 - 24 9:00 High Schools
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:
2017 Approx. Start Time December 9 - 11 6:00 PST December 13 - 21 6:00 PST 2018 Approx. Start Time January 5 - 11, 13 - 18, 20-21 6:30 PST February 4 - 12, 14, 16-17 6:45 PST March 4 - 7, 9-10 7:00 PST March 11 - 20, 8:00 DST April 3 - 19 8:30 DST May 2 - 17 9:00 High Schools
Too much moon (over 70% 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).
Too late start (after 9:00) will run too far into the evening. Students (and even astronomers) need their rest.
Running times; setup and takedown allowances:early August 9:15 *** Too-late start 9:00 ** High school only late August 8:45 * high and middle early September 8:30 * elementary September 8:15 late September 8:00 early October 7:30 late October 7:15 early November 6:30 befor DST ends on Nov.5, 2017 early November 6:00 after DST ends; earliest start time late November 6:00 all December 6:00 early January 6:00 Start 2018 late January 6:15 early February 6:30 late February 6:45 early March 7:00 befor DST early March 8:00 after DST starts on March 4, 2018, late March 8:15 early April 8:30 * elementary late April 8:45 * high and middle early May 9:00 ** high only late May 9:15 *** Too-late start
Optional details about start times:
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.
- Start times are approximately one hour after sunset. More specifically, they are at "Nautical Twilight": the time when the sun is 12 degrees below the horizon. It is rounded to the nearest 15-minute interval.
- The time from sunset to nautical twilight varies from about 58 to 70 minutes; it is minimum about November 20 and January 20, and maximum about June 21, varying slightly by year. They depend on the site's latitude, 37.3 degrees north.
- The start times depend on both latitude and longitude; the latter is 121.9 degrees west.
GO for Fairwood Elemenary, Sunnyvale It was a good star party, with a clear sky.