The night sky off the North Shore of Lake Superior

Announcing Minnesota’s Second Annual Statewide Star Party

Celebrating our Dark Skies

Published07/06/2020

When you look up at the night sky, do you ever wonder how different it would look under really dark skies? What others across the state can see compared to what you see in your town?

We invite you to participate in Minnesota’s second annual Statewide Star Party during the weekend of Friday, November 13 through Sunday, November 15, 2020. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Our Dark Skies,” and we will do that by exploring the night skies across the state. Together, you and your community will join others across the state in observing stars, planets and other astronomical objects, considering what it means to have dark skies, and understanding how light pollution affects our view (and what we can do about that).

We’re seeking sites and partners from across the state, including community organizations, libraries, planetariums, astronomy clubs, state and local parks, and universities, to host public sky watching sessions throughout the weekend.

Interested sites and partners are invited to complete an interest form (we will follow up with an application form in the coming months). Selected sites will receive materials, including activity kits, logistical support, and training to help them prepare for hosting a successful event. Application form and more information coming soon!

You can now register to host a star party!

The Bell Museum will provide the following to help facilitate your star party’s success:

Promotional materials

Kit of activities based on our theme “Celebrating Our Dark Skies.”

Advertisement of your star party on our website, social media accounts and partner sites.

Tips and special online training for hosting a successful event.

Assistance connecting your organization to astronomers from across the state as needed.

Application guidelines:

Event site must be in the state of Minnesota.

Event hosts accept all responsibility for the event, including organization, staffing, etc.

Events should be accessible to the general public (no private events).

Free events are highly encouraged.

Event sites must have access to real sky observing, no indoor only events (weather permitting).

Curious about what happened at last year’s inaugural Statewide Star Party? Check out this post! Thanks to everyone who helped make last year a great success.

Questions? Email us at statestarparty@umn.edu.

The Statewide Star Party is made possible by the generous grant support of Ruth and John Huss.