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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

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.


If you are planning a trip, go to the Clear Sky Chart Home Page to get a forecast for wherever you are going.


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 wella in advancend list them on this website. Othertimes they are quit 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!

Covid-19 Guidelines

The pandemic is NOT over. Please do not attend my star parties unless:

  • You are vaccinated for Covid-19.

  • You are under 12 years old.

  • You have an authentic medical reason for not being vaccinated.

  • In the case of the last two bullet points, please wear a mask.

Also, do not attend if you feel sick in any way.

I will not wear a mask since I will be speaking and need to heard. You are welcome and encourage to wear a mask even if you are vaccinated.