Feasibility Assessment

No Fee

None. SJAA is supported generously by its members who volunteer to make school star parties happen. Still not convinced? Consider joining SJAA for a $20/yr membership or making a donation.

Lights are off

Any light that shines on the star party will interfere with viewing astronomical objects. These can be play-ground flood lights, lighted outdoor hallways, even lighted rooms with bare windows. It is very helpful to look around after dark to see which lights are visible from the intended observing area. Any that show the actual bulb, or that throw a harsh glare, will be trouble.
Lights should be off early, ideally at least one hour before the planned start time, and should stay off at least two hours after start time. But there is no need for them to come on again; we don’t need them to pack our telescopes.
Please make arrangements ahead of time to have lights turned off, or better yet, find out how to turn them off yourself. That way, we won’t be stuck at the last minute trying to find someone who knows where to find the switch or circuit breaker.

Sprinklers are off

Wet star parties are no fun. If you are going to have us set up on the lawn, please work with your custodian to turn the sprinklers off.

Designate one person

One person from the school should be designated as the contact. This is the single point of contact for astronomers to work out anything they need on the day. This person should know how to turn off the lights and sprinklers, contact emergency services, contact school officials / parents.

If weather does not permit the event, this designated person will be contacted for cancelation notices.

Worksheets, forms, and questionnaires – don’t

Doing paperwork at the telescopes is very disruptive. Therefore, it is SJAA’s Policy to strongly oppose the filling out and/or signing of forms and questionnaires at star parties.

Pick a date

Pick a date that doesn’t have other school events, such as a science fair. Astronomy events require all lights off,

Select one from the calendar below and make your request. The starting times are marked and that is the time to be announced to the attendees.