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Dark Sky Star Parties

Aside from the public star parties, which of necessity take place in a highly urbanized environment, we also maintain an active calendar of dark-sky star parties for the more serious pursuits of the amateur astronomer. The LAAS is fortunate to own its own 2½ acre site in Ventura County's Lockwood Valley. The site was recently named the Steve Kufeld Astronomical Site in honor of the late Steve Kufeld, who played a major role in acquiring and improving the property. This site includes telescope pads with power, as well as a heated rest area for friends & family (and astronomers) who just don't handle the winter chill that well. It is also the home of the Gordon Mitchell Observatory and its 16 inch Newtonian, as well as our 31 inch Clyde-O-Scope Newtonian-Cass. The former is named in honor of past president Gordon Mitchell, and the latter in honor of Clyde Tombough, who donated the primary mirror.

The dark sky star parties at the Steve Kufeld Astronomical Site in Lockwood Valley are for members and their guests. Larger or special groups require the approval of the LAAS Board, and will be hosted by LAAS Star members on a night other than the normal dark sky night. The property is not open to the public. Only Star Members enjoy unescorted access to the property.

2014 Star Party Dates are listed in the table below.  Arrivals to the site after civil twilight are prohibited.  Data was calculated from http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/?n=astro

 

Date
MoonMoonsetSunsetCivil Twilight Ends
Jan 4 16% waxing 21:13 PST 16:58 PST 17:26 PST
Feb 1 6% waxing 19:58 PST 17:25 PST 17:52 PST
Mar 1 New 18:41 PST 17:52 PST 18:17 PST
Mar 29 1% waning 18:27 PDT 19:15 PDT 19:40 PDT
Apr 26 7% waning 17:17 PDT 19:37 PDT 20:04 PDT
May 31 9% waxing 22:29 PDT 20:04 PDT 20:33 PDT
Jun 28 2% waxing 21:07 PDT 20:13 PDT 20:43 PDT
Jul 26 New 19:45 PDT 20:03 PDT 20:31 PDT
Aug 23 3% waning 18:21 PDT 19:34 PDT 20:00 PDT
Sep 27 12% waxing 20:57 PDT 18:45 PDT 19:10 PDT
Oct 25 4% waxing 19:39 PDT 18:09 PDT 18:35 PDT
Nov 22 New 17:21 PST 16:47 PST 17:14 PST
Dec 20 2% waning 16:01 PST 16:48 PST 17:16 PST

 

For those of you who want to see for your eyes the weather in the area, there are three webcams in Frazier Park that may interest you.

If you want to get an idea of what to look at prior to arriving at the Steve Kufeld Astronomical Site:
Terry's Hunt of the Month is a good place to start for some Monthly Observing Lists.

Please also check out our Public Star Parites.

Lockwood Valley Clear Sky Chart

ClearDarkSkyAstronomyClock

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