Starparties are held monthly at Joseph D. Grant Park, our 2017 schedule is available here. For directions to the park click here. Our star parties are events for the whole family, all are welcome to attend. Our telescope docents are very knowledgeable and provide a great experience for both those new to and familiar with astronomy.
To make your visit to more enjoyable, please follow these simple guidelines:
- Turn off your flashlights when you reach the observing site. Bright flashlights keep your eyes from adjusting to the darkness and make it harder for you, and others, to see astronomical objects.
- Make sure your children are carefully supervised. It's important that young children stay with a parent or other adult at all times. Follow the starparty docents' instructions.
- Please be advised, Halley Hill is only accessible via an unpaved uphill path and may prove difficult for those with mobility limitations. Those with mobility limitations maybe driven to the location but parking is limited. Telescope Row is located on a paved surface near ample parking with close access to restrooms.
- Halls Valley can get very cold after sun down, even in the warm summer months so please dress accordingly.
- Please check our schedule for gate closure times and plan accordingly.
- Please keep pets on a leash at all times.
The HVAG's two observing sites for public programs, Telescope Row and the Halley Hill Observatory, are easily accessed from park roads. Telescope Row is utilized for wet season months and Halley Hill Observatory during the dry season. Find details on both locations below.
Halley Hill Observatory
Since 1995, the HVAG has conducted a summer starparty series at the Halley Hill Observatory. The park campground is often filled to capacity for some or all of these events and turn-out has been excellent. Please check our calendar for this years HHO events.
The location is named in honor of Edmond Halley, who's prediction of the return of Halley's Comet represented a pivotal moment in the advancement of astronomy.
Halley Hill provides a suburb view of not only the night sky, but also of Halls Valley. Come early and admire the view before turning your attention to the stars.
Directions to Halley Hill Observatory
The Halley Hill Observatory is located adjacent to the Grant Park main campground. To reach the observatory from the campground, follow the path across from campsite 22. The observatory is at the top of the hill.
If you arrive after the entrance gates are closed, do not, under any circumstances, attempt to enter the park through the exit gate. The exit gate is protected by a tire shredder.
Since 1982, the HVAG has been conducting monthly public starparties at the main parking lot in Grant Park. Over the years, the long row of parking spaces where we set up our telescopes has become known to our members and park visitors as Telescope Row.
Telescope Row starparties provide an entertaining and educational experience for school groups, scout troops, and other park visitors. They also provide a place for aspiring amateur astronomers to learn about astronomy in a friendly, informal atmosphere.
Check our calendar for this year's Telescope Row events.
Directions to Telescope Row
From the Grant Park entrance station, follow the main park road for 0.5 miles to a turning circle. Telescope Row is located to the left, beyond the restrooms. Parking on Telescope Row during starparties is limited to those who are assisting in the program. Others should park in the lot directly ahead of the turning circle, to the right of the large oak, and walk to the starparty.
If you plan to attend a Telescope Row starparty, please plan on arriving at Grant Park before sunset. The park entrance gate is closed at sunset. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to enter the park through the exit gate. The exit gate is protected by a tire shredder.