2016 Stokes Star Party

The Stokes Star Party will be held April 1 and 2 this year at the New Jersey School of Conservation in Stokes State Forest, 1 Wapalanne Road, Branchville, NJ 07826.

Members interested in attending can find more information on the star party website: http://stokesstarparty.com

From the website:

The 2016 Spring Star Party is NOT New Moon weekend, this is the Last Quarter Moon. However, the Moon will not rise at this site until approximately 3:25am the morning of Saturday, April 2. Thus, Friday night’s observing will be dark and mostly Moonless, as will Saturday night’s as the Moon doesn’t rise until approximately 4:10am Sunday morning.

We selected this weekend because the Rockland Astronomy Club (RAC) scheduled the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) during April’s New Moon weekend. So as not to cause a conflict of dates for those interested in attending both events, the Stokes Star Party was moved from our usual April New Moon schedule.

The main observing field during the 2006 event. (Credit: Tom Olgetree)

“New Jersey” and “dark skies” are not usually companions within the same sentence, but the Stokes Star Party has begun a tradition of taking advantage of the remaining dark skies in the Garden State. Nestled up in the far Northwest corner of the state is Stokes State Forest, inside of which is found the 240-acre abode of the New Jersey School of Conservation (NJSOC). Owned and operated by Montclair State University (MSU), this tract of land is preserved as an environmental extension station for the College of Science and Mathematics at MSU.

As such, the NJSOC has become an ideal setting for star-gazing under night skies that are the least obstructed by light pollution in the state.

With the coordination of John Miller (Pearl Observatory), Rob Teeter (Teeter’s Telescopes) and a handful of other dedicated observers, the Stokes Star Party has become a “right of passage” every April as the first Northeast Star Party of the calendar year.

This entry was posted in March 2016, Sidereal Times and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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