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Milky Way Lightning.jpeg
Lightning Storm and Milky Way at Pine Mountain Observatory, Benjamin Carleton, Wilson High School Class of 2017

Star Party - General Information

Click here for my Public Star Party page. Public star parties are open to the public and free

Click here for my Private Star Party page. Private star parties are open to those who sign-up and pay a fee.


General Information About Star Parties

Is it Clear Enough for a Star Party?


Here is the Clear Sky Chart for Portland. The clear sky chart is an astronomer’s weather forecast. The chart forecasts the quality of night sky observing for the next 48 hours.

Here is the Clear Outside Chart for Portland. This is another weather forecast for astronomers. This one forecasts out for closer to a week.


If you are planning a trip, both of those sites allow you to get a forecast for wherever you are going. That also both have phone apps.


General Information About Public Star Parties




I lead free star parties for the general public. I also lead for-hire private star parties.

I lead the star parties as a “public citizen."They are not sponsored by Portland Public Schools, Ida B. Wells High School, the City of Portland, or any other agency. I do this as a “Friend of the Universe" and not as an employee of any agency. All risk is yours. Please read and follow the star party rules below.




I lead star parties in the urban Portland area, on the somewhat darker outskirts of town, and in remote locations. See the list of individual star parties.



Sometimes I plan star parties well in advancend list them on this website. Othertimes they are quite spontaneous.

E-mail messages will be sent out when the star parties are planned. If you would like to be on my Star Party e-mail list, send me a note saying so.


What to Bring:


Dress appropriately. Wear good shoes. You may wish to bring a blanket or pad to lay on.

Red flashlights only. No white lights please! I will have extra red flashlights.

Planisphere (star wheel) if you have one.

Binoculars or telescope. Check in with me ahead of time if you plan to bring a telescope.

Many people enjoy a comfortable camp chair and/or a blanket to lay on.

Snacks are great!



Rules, Safety, etc:

I strongly recommend coming with another person. You will be in a park in the darkness. Use good judgment regarding safety.

Absolutely no alcohol, drugs, tobacco etc. Treat it like a school or family event.

Star parties are not appropriate for dogs.

Drive safely!

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