Astronomical league releases dates of ‘star parties’

Bill Shaheen peers into an 11-inch Celestron EdgeHD. (Photo courtesy of Superstition Mountain Astronomical League)

The Superstition Mountain Astronomical League has announced its schedule of “star parties” to provide the public an opportunity to see the moon, planets, stars, star clusters, galaxies and other astronomical phenomena using sophisticated telescopes.

The league is made up of amateur astronomers in the Gold Canyon/Apache Junction area.

Each year, members of the league conduct a series of open house public astronomical observing sessions and demonstrations designed to “supplement public education, to provide the community with telescopic views of celestial objects and to answer questions about astronomy and astronomical equipment,” according to a release.

No fee is required at events at Peralta Trail Elementary School. A $7-per-vehicle park entrance fee is assessed by Lost Dutchman State Park, unless entrants have an Arizona State Parks park pass, which can be used at all Arizona state parks.

Scheduled events are on Saturdays and take place on a weather-permitting basis. “We need clear skies, no rain or a few clouds at most,” the release stated.

This year, the league also is planning several unscheduled events, such as sun parties for solar observing.

The scheduled events are:
Sept. 1 – Flatiron Park, 100 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 – Peralta Trail Elementary School, 10965 E. Peralta Road, Gold Canyon, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 – Lost Dutchman State Park, 6109 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction, 7-9 p.m.
Dec 8 – Lost Dutchman State Park, 6:30-9 p.m.
Jan. 12 – Peralta Trail Elementary School, 6:30-9 p.m.
Feb. 9 – Lost Dutchman State Park, 7-9 p.m.
June 1 – Lost Dutchman State Park, 8–10 p.m.

For more information, visit supermtnastro.com.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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