Enjoy the Night Sky - Star Party on May 12


Update: There is no potable water currently available at the Black Canyon Group Campground due to ongoing repair work. If you plan to attend the Star Party, please plan to bring one gallon of water per person, per day.   

The Mojave National Preserve Conservancy, Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers, and National Park Service invite you to join us for a Star Party at the Mojave National Preserve's Black Canyon Group Campground on Saturday, May 12 2018.

A silhouette of a Mojave yucca against the Milky Way. 

What is it: 

The Star Party is an opportunity to experience the dark sky resources of the Mojave National Preserve.  Far from the light pollution of the city, we have a much better view of the stars above. There will be a pot luck dinner (feel free to bring your favorite foods) and the Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers will have high-powered telescopes set up and experts on hand to guide us through the night sky.    Weather permitting, the astronomers will provide a glimpse of the planets in our own solar system, and amazing galaxies far away.

When is it: 

Saturday, May 12, 2018.  Feel free to get to the campground earlier and set up your tent before we lose daylight.  Food and telescope set up probably will begin around 5pm.  Sunset will be at approximately 730pm.  

Depending on your schedule, plan on exploring the Mojave National Preserve earlier in the day on Saturday, or the next morning!  If this is your first visit to the Preserve, then we recommend looking into the hiking trails at the nearby Hole-in-the-Wall visitor center, Kelso Dunes, Teutonia Peak Trail, or Mitchell Caverns State Recreation Area (tour reservations necessary).

Where is it:

We will be gathering at the Black Canyon Group Campground in the Mojave National Preserve. This campground is very close to the Hole-in-the-Wall visitor center.   Please keep in mind that the Star Party is an opportunity for folks to stay up late and observe the night sky.  While we ask visitors to be mindful of fellow attendees, please note that it will not be perfectly quiet at the Black Canyon Group Campground, especially around the campfire, tables and telescopes.  If you plan to go to sleep early and need silence, consider bringing ear plugs or pitching your campsite at Hole-in-the-Wall campground just a mile away.

Things to bring:

  • During early May, the desert can be hot during the day but cold at night.  Keep an eye on weather forecasts so you can figure out what clothing layers to bring.
  • Water and reusable water bottles! The desert is a dry place and dehydration can sneak up on you quickly.  Always carry extra water and don't hike without it. 
  • Bring a tent, sleeping bag, or whatever other gear you need to have a comfortable night under the stars.  There is plenty of room throughout the Black Canyon Group Campground to set up your own tents.  If for whatever reason the event is more popular than we anticipate, the nearby Hole-in-the-Wall Campround is another great place to pitch your tent.
  • We recommend bringing a headlamp or flashlight because the campground will be quite dark (perfect for stargazing). However, consider getting a flashlight or headlamp with a red light option or cover the light with plastic wrap (you can use a red marker on the plastic).  Bright lights can ruin the night vision we all need to see the stars above, but red or dim lights are less disruptive.
  • Feel free to pitch in on the pot luck dinner by bringing a favorite dish or snack.  Breakfast is on your own, so pack food for any other adventures you plan! 
  • Curiosity! The desert is an amazing place with animal and plant life that has adapted to thrive in arid conditions.  The Preserve is a great place to experience these natural wonders.

RSVP:  So we can have an accurate estimate of attendance, please RSVP on our Facebook event page or email us at info@mojavepreserve.org .