"Pillaging the Universe One Star at a Time"

 

The 2016 Fall Bootleg Star Party will be held on September 29th-October 2nd 

 

CLICK HERE for a copy of the 2016 Fall Bootleg Star Party Registration Form

Pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, September 20th. 

All forms must be postmarked no later than September 20th to qualify for early registration.

Map and Directions here...

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2008 Prairie Skies Star Party Pictures 

CAS Astrofest @ Camp Shaw

CAS Astrofest @ Vana's

Texas Star Party 2009

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Upcoming Observing Highlights for August 2016   (from skymaps.com)
 
2 New Moon at 20:45 UT. Start of lunation 1158.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
4 Moon near Venus (16 from Sun, evening sky) at 5h UT. Mag. -3.9.
4 Moon near Regulus (18 from Sun, evening sky) at 8h UT.
4 Moon very near Mercury (25 from Sun, evening sky) at 22h UT. Occultation visible from southern South America. Mag. +0.0.
5 Venus 1.0 NNE of Regulus (16 from Sun, evening sky) at 16h UT. Mags. -3.9 and +1.4.
6 Moon very near Jupiter (39 from Sun, evening sky) at 3h UT. Mag. -1.7. Occultation visible from South Pacific.
8 Moon near Spica (evening sky) at 16h UT.
10 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 0h UT (distance 404,262 km; angular size 29.6').
10 First Quarter Moon at 18:21 UT.
12 Moon near Mars (evening sky) at 1h UT. Mag. -0.6.
12 Perseid meteor shower maximum predicted between 13h and 16h UT. Active from July 17 to August 24. Produces swift, bright meteors (50 to 100 per hour) many with persistent trains. Best viewing conditions occur after midnight.
Observing the Perseids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar PDF (IMO)
12 Moon near Saturn at 13h UT. Mag. +0.4.
16 Mercury at greatest elongation east (27 from Sun, evening sky) at 21h UT. Mag. +0.3.
18 Full Moon at 9:27 UT.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
20 Mercury 3.8 SW of Jupiter (27 from Sun, evening sky) at 6h UT. Mags. +0.5 and -1.7.
22 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 1h UT (367,050 km; angular size 32.6').
24 Mars 1.8 N of Antares (98 from Sun, evening sky) at 15h UT. Mags. -0.4 and +1.0. Saturn nearby at mag. +0.5.
25 Moon near the Pleiades (92 from Sun, morning sky) at 0h UT.
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
25 Last Quarter Moon at 3:41 UT.
25 Moon near Aldebaran (83 from Sun, morning sky) at 17h UT. Occultation visible from USA, Mexico and parts of Indonesia.
27 Venus 0.07 NNE of Jupiter (22 from Sun, evening sky) at 16h UT. Mags. -3.9 and -1.7. Very close pairing of the two brightest planets!
28 Mercury, Venus and Jupiter within a 5.1 circle (23 from Sun, evening sky) at 4h UT. Mags. +0.9, -3.9 and -1.7.
>>> All times Universal Time (UT).    USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours.  (DST = UT-5 hrs,)

 

Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)