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Frequently Asked Questions (with answers)...

What is a star party ?
A star party is a gathering of amateur astronomers. Often non-astronomers are invited to come and particpate as well. It is a great way for non-astronomers to see things they don't typically take the time to ponder.

How much does it cost?
The Acton Star Party is a no-charge event and open to astronomer and non-astronomer alike.

Should I bring a flashlight ?
If you do, bring only small ones to keep the stray light low. Flashlight etiquette - point it toward the ground only.  Cover it with several layers of red cellophane or use a red LED light.  Red light doesn't affect our adaption to night vision.  You will find that after a few minutes in the dark, without looking at the white beam of a flashlight, you will be able to see enough to walk safely on the paved path toward the astronomers.  It takes 3 minutes to reach 30% of full night-vision-adaption; 30 minutes to reach 65%; but 3 hours to reach full night-adaption.  One flash of light in your eyes will start the process all over again!  So, please be respectful of others who are trying to get night-adapted!

How can I learn more about shielding techniques for outdoor lighting?
An excellent resource for learning more about outdoor lighting issues, glare, and light pollution can be found here

What kind of clothing should I wear?
The rule is dress warm - have plenty of layers - especially a hat and gloves. Temps in March have been known to get down to the 30s in the evening.

How do I get to the Star Party?
The Parker-Damon school building is located about a half mile north on Rt. 111 on your right from the intersection of Rt. 27 and 111 when you continue through that intersection.[Click here for detailed directions]

What if there is bad weather?
Clouds or exteme low temperatures would cancel the Acton Star Party. We will consult local weather forecasters and make a decision by 1:00p on the day of the star party. If the event is to be canceled or postponed to the next day, we will make every attempt to let you know. You can always check www.actonstarparty.com to get a GO/NO GO status on the star party.

We have three (3) dates reserved because we want to increase our odds for a clear night for the kids.
As there are plenty of activities to do inside, We will hold the Star Party on Wednesday March 6th regardless of the weather. If this is the case, we will try to schedule a separate observing session at a later time in a public park in Acton.

How do I volunteer?
Whether you are an Astronomer (professional, amateur, or just have a telescope and want to bring it) or you just want to help out at this great event, please contact us directly.

What can I expect to see in March, 2017?
So many beautiful Sky-Lites, including
- a nearly full (91%) Moon

- Jupiter rising at 8:30PM
- Venus setting 8:08PM
- Mars setting 9:11PM
- Orion Nebula
- Constellation Leo

- and a whole lot more...