EVENTS + MEETINGS
What's Going On
3rd Friday at 7:30pm
2nd Friday of each month
School, Community Private Star Party By Request Only
EVAC In Person/Virtual Monthly Meeting at 07:30 PM July 15th. Speaker: Sid Frede - Astrophotography is a Journey, Not A Sprint!...
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 not 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 not supporting private star parties at this time.
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 starting May 20, 2022.
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.
Interested in seeing the caliber of speakers at past meetings? Check out our History of Speakers.
2022 Meeting Speaker Schedule
Don Wrigley - Lunar Observing
December 16th .
2021 Meeting Speaker Schedule
Travis Rector University of Anchorage Alaska - "How and Why We Make Color Composite Images at Professional Observatories".
Gerard van Belle Lowell Observatory - "Present Research Capabilities and Future Plans".
Nivedita Mahesh Arizona State University - "A Farside Array for Radio Science Investigations of the Dark Ages and Exoplanets".
A Probe Class mission concept funded by NASA to place a radio array on the lunar farside.
Richard Hedwick CEO of Planewave Instruments - "Brief history of Planewave, Telescope and Mount Making, and the Newest Product Member".
Click on the Speaker's name for a link to the Speaker's Bio and an Abstract of the Presentation. Click on the Presentation name for access to the Zoom recording of the Meeting.
Tyler Richie-Yowell Phd Candidate at ASU - Evaluating Planets Orbiting K-stars for "Super Habitability".
. David Dunham - "Three Recent Occultation Results (briefly)".
Plus - general information about how to participate in future expeditions.
. James Yoder - How to effectively use the monthly list of objects for astrophotography.
. Alex Nachman - How to Process Data from the Hubble Space Telescope to Produce Color Images.
. Sid Frede - Automating Astrophotography. A quick look at using software/hardware tools to automate image capture.
. Jon Koester - How to Build Your Own Home Observatory.
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.)
EVAC Member Star Parties
EVAC star parties are held at Picket Post Trailhead, near Superior on the Saturday closest to 3rd quarter moon and the Saturday closest to the new moon.
EVAC is not supporting member star parties at this time.
3rd Quarter Moon
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.
The star party is usually well-attended and is especially suited to those just getting started. If you are in the market for a scope, this is the place to see a variety of scopes and talk to their owners or simply get advice on getting started.
How To Get To Picketpost Mountain Trailhead
N 33º 16' 21"
W 111º 10' 35"
This site is easily accessed by any vehicle.
Take US 60 east past Florence Junction.
As you come down from Gonzales Pass, watch out for the green Mile Marker 221 sign.
Just past that you will see a yellow 'Truck Crossing' sign... and just past the sign is FR 231.
The road is now easier to spot than in the past, as there is now a familiar brown sign indicating the trailhead.
You'll know it's the right road because there is a small windmill visible just after you make the right turn.
Follow the well-graded road about half a mile to where it dead-ends into another road.
Another brown sign indicates that you should make a left turn (staying on FR 231) to get to the trailhead.
This section of the road is asphalt.
Follow the narrow road about a half mile until it ends at the trailhead.
When you reach the trailhead, bear to the right and circle around until you see the larger, flat area.
All Arizona Star Party - Cancelled
The Hovatter Airfield is no longer available to us to use as our dark sky location for the All Arizona Star Party. Both EVAC and the Saguaro Astronomy Club had an annual use agreement with the Bureau of Land Management to use
the site for club activities. The BLM transferred that land to La Paz County for the construction of a large solar energy facility resulting in the cancellation of our BLM agreement. The area now can not be used by either of our clubs for any reason since no use agreement exists with La Paz County.
We do not know when actual construction will start. Both
EVAC and SAC are working to find a replacement dark sky
site. However, because of the current health environment,
and the time it would take to find a new site and negotiate
a new use agreement with the new site owners, this year’s
All Arizona Star Party scheduled in October has been cancelled.
How To Get To Hovatter Airstrip
N 33º 34' 50"
W 113º 35' 53"
The Salome Airfield is located two miles south of Interstate 10, and about ten miles west of Centennial, AZ.
From Phoenix, go West on I-10 to Hovatter Rd at exit 53 (about 40 miles west of Palo Verde Nuclear Power Generating Station).
Once off I-10 and onto the Hovatter Road overpass, turn left and proceed over the freeway and over the canal.
When you cross the canal, turn hard left onto the AT&T Frontage road.
Go 1.1 miles to a bend in the road.
As the road veers to the SE, look for a road running due south at the same point - Tomson St. and head South for 1.8 miles. Note: Google Maps shows Tomson St. Apple maps and the road sign show Vinegaroon Road.
You will come to a small left-right zig-zag, then see a chain link fence enclosing an area about 20 ft by 20 ft off to the East of the road
This is the abandoned airfield's entrance.
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.