50th Anniversary Star Party

The Tulare Astronomical Association is going to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Arthur Purcell Observatory. The Observatory was opened in August of 1967. Since it’s opening, the observatory has been sharing the wonders of the universe with the people of Tulare County.

The celebration also coincides with National Astronomy Day. We will have a public star party on Saturday evening, September 23, 2017 open to the public. The gates will open at 7:00 PM to 10:00. We encourage all past members to come out and join us and share their experiences with us. Tell us what it was like in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. If you know of someone that was a member in the past, please let them know about the event. We look forward to meeting them.

The star party will begin with pictures of the past and a brief history. Then we will have a sky tour of the main summer constellations.

The visitors will then be able to look through the TAA’s 12.5 ″ Cave Astrola Telescope in the observing dome and members personal telescopes. Each telescope will be featuring a different object. We will also have our Astro Video Camera set up so that people that are unable to look through a telescope can observe the objects on a TV screen.


Featured Objects will include

  • Solar System Objects our Moon, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto,
  • Globular Clusters M13 (Hercules Cluster) M15 (Pegasus Cluster) M3, M5, & M2.
  • Open Clusters M11 (Wild Duck Cluster) M16 (Eagle Nebula and Cluster) M8 (Lagoon Nebula and Cluster) M22 (Sagittarius Cluster) M6 (Butterfly Cluster) M7 (Ptolemy’s Cluster) NGC 884 Perseus Double Cluster, NGC457 (Owl Cluster) NGC 6802 (Coathanger Cluster)
  • Nebula M27 (Dumbbell Nebula) M20 (Trifid Nebula) M57 (Ring Nebula)
  • Galaxies M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) M82 (Cigar Galaxy) M81 (Bodes Galaxy) M101 (Pinwheel Galaxy) M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy) and much, much more.
  • Dress comfortably (expect cool or cold weather)
  • Bring your own lawn chair and binoculars.
  • Only Red light flashlights can be used in the observing area located behind the metal light screen. Red light is used to preserve our “night vision” allowing everyone to see much fainter objects. White light can be used in the parking lot.
  • Please be on time. The gates will open one half hour before the posted start time.

Cost: $5 per person. (NOTE: no alcoholic beverages allowed on the premises)

Event Cancelation Announcement

If the sky is too cloudy, foggy or raining, the event may be cancelled. Please subscribe to the website so that we can send you an email if an event is cancelled. Cancellations are usually decided by 4:00 pm the day of the event. If you arrive on time and the gate is closed the event has been cancelled.

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