Virtual Star Party!

Oracle State Park

Saturday, April 10   7 p.m.

Oracle State Park’s first ever Virtual Star Party celebrates International Dark Sky Week (April 5-12, 2021). The approximately 90-minute video program will air as a Premiere on TAAA and ASPT Facebook and YouTube sites, on Saturday, April 10 beginning at 7 p.m. We hope you’ll tune in!

The event will feature a brief live music introduction by local guitarist Dave Tamminga, followed by guest speaker, Dr. John Barentine, of the International Dark-Sky Association. He will offer a 30-minute program “Dark Skies in Southern Arizona: Past, Present, Future.” 

Description: That the global dark-skies movement effectively began in the Tucson area is no surprise given its long astronomical history. In this presentation, I will explain how that history prompted the elevation of light pollution to a worldwide concern and led to the establishment of the International Dark-Sky Association. I will review our achievements in the region to date and the challenges we face in the coming decade that involve the balance of managing growth and sustaining astronomy’s contribution to the local economy.

 Brief Bio: John Barentine is the Director of Public Policy for the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). He earned a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin, and previously held staff positions at the National Solar Observatory, Apache Point Observatory, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Throughout his career, he has been involved in education and outreach efforts to help increase the public understanding of science. He is a member of the American Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union, and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. The asteroid (14505) Barentine is named in his honor. His interests outside of astronomy and light pollution research include history, art and architecture, politics, law and current events. 

Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association volunteers are offering the virtual zoom event including interpretation of dark sky objects on behalf of the park. We’ll celebrate the sixth anniversary of Oracle State Park’s IDSP (International Dark Sky Park) designation. During the Premiere on April 10 streaming to Facebook and YouTube, TAAA volunteers will be on their sites for the viewer chat as it airs. 

 To access the Virtual Star Party, select one of the following links:

TAAA Facebook:

TAAA YouTube: 

ASPT Facebook: Here is our Facebook

ASPT YouTube: here is our YouTube.