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EVENTS + MEETINGS

What's Going On

 

Monthly Meetings

  •  3rd Friday at 7:30pm

 

Public Star Party

  • 2nd Friday of each month

Private Star Party

  • School, Community Private Star Party By Request Only

 

Special Events​​

  • EVAC Holiday Party on December 21 - 7:30PM

Want to stay up to date? Join the EVAC email list. 

public star party in arizona

Free public star party every 2nd Friday of the month at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert.

Private Star Parties upon request.

astronomy club star party arizona

Nocturnal gatherings give members a chance to talk about all things astronomical, look through many types of scopes & show off a few favorite sights. 

astronomy club meeting az

Visitors always welcome! Find out what other members are up to and listen to presentations by professional and well-known amateur astronomers. 

Star Party Information

 

Public Star Party

The East Valley Astronomy Club sponsors a free public star party each month at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert. The event is scheduled on the second Friday of each month, weather permitting. The star party begins at dusk. You are encouraged to attend and observe through member's telescopes.

EVAC is supporting Public Star Parties at this time.

School + Community Star Party Information

Arrange a night under the stars for your school, community, club, or group! Available Tuesday - Thursday.

If you would like to arrange a night under the stars / private star party, click below and fill out the request form.

EVAC is supporting private star parties at this time.

public star party
member meetings

Monthly Meetings

 

The monthly general meeting is your chance to find out what other club members are up to, learn about upcoming club events and listen to presentations by professional and well-known amateur astronomers. Visitors are always welcome!

  • Held on the third Friday of each month, beginning at 7:30 pm. See our upcoming Speaker Schedule.

  • Meetings are held via Zoom and In Person.

  • A typical meeting begins with introductions and a brief discussion of club business, including upcoming events.

  • Recognition and a couple of short (10 - 15 minute) presentations by EVAC members follows.

  • Refreshments are served during a short intermission.

  • Our guest speaker then gives a 45-minute to 1-hour presentation. 

  • Meetings are held at the Gilbert Library.

Interested in seeing the caliber of speakers at past meetings? Check out our History of Speakers.

Speaker Schedule

2022 Meeting Speaker Schedule

2023 Meeting Speaker Schedule

July 21st

Dr. Matt Penn (National Solar Observatory) - Solar Observing and 2024 Solar Eclipse

August 18th

Steven Bradshaw - How Far Away Is That (And How Do We Measure It)?

September 15th

Paul Knauth - Visual Observing in the Golden Age of Astronomy

October 20th

Member Presentations and Discussion of October 14 Annular Eclipse

November 17th

David Iadevaia - Observing the Milky Way with a Do It Yourself Radio Telescope.

December 21st 

Annual Holiday Event - EVAC will provide dinner, drinks and dessert in the library meeting room. Feel free to bring Holiday treats to share.

member star parties

Member Star Parties

 

For many amateur astronomers, participating in club star parties is the best part of belonging to a club. These friendly nocturnal gatherings give observers a chance to talk about all things astronomical, look through many types of scopes and show off a few of their favorite sights. EVAC offers at least two star parties each month (weather permitting, of course.) Member Star Parties usually occur near the 3rd Quarter Moon or near the New Moon. For 2023, the dates are:

2023 Schedule
3rd Quarter Moon

  • January 14th

  • February 13th

  • March 14th

  • April 13th

  • May 12th

  • June 10th

  • July 9th

  • August 8th

  • September 6th

  • October 6th

  • November 5th

  • December 4th

2023 Schedule
New Moon

  • January 21st

  • February 20th

  • March 21st

  • April 19th

  • May 19th

  • June 17th

  • July 17th

  • August 16th

  • September 14th

  • October 14th

  • November 13th

  • December 12th

EVAC Member Star Parties

 

EVAC currently does not officially support any local star parties. Some members do gather at  Picket Post Trailhead during the weekend before and on the weekend of the New Moon.  Due to Forest Service rules, a Ranger may be present from spring to fall.  Gates are locked at sunset when the Ranger is present.  For this reason, members are encouraged to use open areas off the road before Picket Post if the gates are locked.  See Observing Sites below.

All Arizona Star Party

Our annual dark sky weekend will be November 10-11, 2023 and will be held at the North Hovatter observing field (see directions above).  This is a great chance to gather in the desert to observe with your fellow astronomy enthusiasts.  Please drive SLOWLY to avoid dust.  Park near the north entrance if you will be leaving early.  Avoid white lights and have fun.

 

Schedule:

Friday November 10, 2023:

  • 5:00pm  Gather at the hospitality tent for a potluck.

  • 5:28pm  Sunset with Astronomical Twilight ending at 6:52pm.

  • 10:00pm  Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate and snacks at the tent.

Saturday November 11, 2023:

  • 4:30pm  Temperance Union Happy Hour

  • 4:45pm  Raffle - Tickets $1 or 6 for $5

  • 5:00pm  Chili Dinner - Tickets $5

  • 5:27pm  Sunset with Astronomical Twilight ending at 6:52pm

  • 10:00pm  Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate and snacks at the tent

 

Portable toilets will be provided.  They typically arrive on Thursday and are picked up the following Thursday.

Email president@evaconline.org for more information, or call 480.221.5792 if you are lost.

Driving instructions:

  • From Phoenix, go west on I-10 to Hovatter Rd at exit 53,

  • Turn RIGHT onto North Hovatter Rd.

  • Follow the gravel road (watch for the bump where the pavement ends)

  • Take the RIGHT fork - not Hope-Hovatter Rd. (road to right changes to Harquahala Rd. at the fork)

  • After about 3.5 miles you will see a mining operation on the mountainside.

  • Take a hard right turn onto the observing field

Observing Sites

Picket Post Trailhead Site

The site offers reasonably dark skies within an hour of most east Valley locations. A hill blocks a good bit of the Phoenix sky glow to the west, and Superior's minor glow is visible in the northeast.

How To Get To Picketpost Mountain Trailhead

 

Site coordinates: 

  • N 33º 16' 21" 

  • W 111º 10' 35"    

  • Elevation 2375'

picket post star party map

This site is easily accessed by any vehicle.

  1. Take US 60 east past Florence Junction.

  2. As you come down from Gonzales Pass, watch out for the green Mile Marker 221 sign.

  3. Just past that you will see a yellow 'Truck Crossing' sign... and just past the sign is FR 231.

  4. The road is now easier to spot than in the past, as there is now a familiar brown sign indicating the trailhead.

  5. You'll know it's the right road because there is a small windmill visible just after you make the right turn.

  6. Follow the well-graded road about half a mile to where it dead-ends into another road.

  7. Another brown sign indicates that you should make a left turn (staying on FR 231) to get to the trailhead.

  8. This section of the road is asphalt.

  9. Follow the narrow road about a half mile until it ends at the trailhead.

  10. When you reach the trailhead, bear to the right and circle around until you see the larger, flat area.

Antennas Site

This is another site that is near the Hovatter North site. It is on BLM land and the Saguaro Astronomy Club has a use permit for it. Site Map and Directions are below. Please park on the edge of the site if you are leaving early. Please avoid white light and make as little dust as possible.

How To Get To The Antennas Site

Antenna Map.png

The Antennas Site is located two miles south of Interstate 10, and about ten miles west of Centennial, AZ.

From Phoenix:

  1. Go west on I-10 to Hovatter Rd at exit 53 or about 40 miles west of Palo Verde Nuclear Power Generating Station.

  2. Turn left over the freeway, drive over the canal.

  3. When you cross the canal, turn right.

  4. Go .1 miles to and turn left onto dirt road.

  5. Travel past the antennas and turn right at next opportunity.

  6. Go through two washes and the site is on the left.

All Arizona Star Party
liability disclaimer

Star Party Liability Disclaimer

 

The East Valley Astronomy Club (EVAC) is not responsible for the property or liability of any star party participant, nor will the club be held liable for their actions or possessions. EVAC is not responsible for any vehicular damage, theft, or mechanical difficulties that may occur while attending a star party. EVAC strongly recommends adherence to the doctrine of 'safety in numbers' when it comes to remote observing sites. In the interest of safety it is recommended that you don't go to remote sites alone and that someone knows where you have gone each time you go out observing.

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