Texas Star Party
May 9, 2010 @ 12:00 am - May 16, 2010 @ 12:00 am EDT
Join us for the 32nd Annual Texas Star Party, May 9-16 on the magnificent Prude Ranch, a 3500 acre mile-high venue located just six miles northwest of Fort Davis on Highway 118 and only12 miles from McDonald Observatory. All over America, the search for dark skies is becoming a key concern for amateur astronomers. In many places when amateurs get together to observe the stars, they compare their skies to those they once saw on a remote Texas ranch. Little wonder! The skies in the Davis Mountains of West Texas are some of the darkest found anywhere in North America.
Where else, after all, could one find so magnificent a view of Omega Centauri? High in the south and suspended against a sky that is the color of ink, the cluster is so spectacular through your eyepiece, you almost think you can reach out and touch it! Where else does the Sagittarius Milky Way rise over the mountains with so vivid a presence that you might mistake it for an ominous storm cloud? And what more natural setting could welcome amateurs than a frontier so remote and beckoning that Leslie Peltier himself once referred to it as "paradise?"
It has to be Texas! The perfect place for the perfect star party, a huge gathering of more than 500 of the most serious astrophotographers and observers in the United States and beyond, the culmination of an odyssey that is worthy of all the dedication and stamina it takes to get here and to return -- year after year after year!
Serious amateur astronomers have come to appreciate the "observer's environment" where bothersome lights and traffic are strictly controlled to reduce interference with photographers and observers. And during the daytime, there are many activities to keep you busy: tours of nearby McDonald Observatory; afternoon talks by amateur and professional astronomers and telescope makers; Prude Ranch activities including swimming pool, horseback riding, tennis, and hiking; evening presentations given by special guest; tour nearby mountains, Big Bend National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, the Marfa Lights, and raft trips down the Rio Grande river; amateur radio links worldwide and live weather satellite coverage; and fellowship with over 500 astronomy enthusiasts including informal talks, flea markets/trading, and astronomy vendor displays.
Prude Ranch facilities include motel rooms, family cabins, bunkhouses, RV hookups, and camping with convenient bathhouses. A western-style dining room is available for your meals.