Main Sequence Star Parties are our club's astronomy camping events, which occur about 2-3 times per year. An announcement of the year's MSSPs is usually made in January or February of a given year.
Enjoy the night sky with your fellow DVAA members under the darkest skies east of the Mississippi at Cherry Springs State Park. There'll be a bunch to observe, of course, but be forewarned that a lot of experienced observers get seriously blown away by the experience. To quote one such person (Chip Harrison; in Night Moves: Preserving the Sublime at One of the Darkest Places in America):
“I’ve seen people who are fairly serious amateur astronomers, and they can’t find their way around this night sky—there are too many stars.”
Beyond the obvious delights of a pristine dark-sky site there's a ton of stuff to do during the day: sleep (for a start!), socialize, observe the sun (but only with proper gear!), hike, swim, picnic, buy provisions, participate in the customary potluck, give a class on something, make music and more. Lots more:
BTW, should the clouds turn nasty our rain dates for this particular Star Party will be August 10th through 12th, during the New Moon and Every year since 2015 our club has opted to go on astronomy camping trips or field trips to places of interest within a few hours of the Philadelphia region.
Here is a list of upcoming MSSP events:
2018 DVAA Main Sequence Star Parties (MSSP)
MSSP 2018.1: July 13-15 at Cherry Springs State Park (new moon July 12).
MSSP 2018.1 Rain Date: Aug 10-12 at Cherry Springs State Park (new moon Aug 11). This will be the peak of the Perseids Meteor Shower!
MSSP 2018.2: Oct 5-8 at Blue Mountain Vista Observatory (Columbus Day Weekend; new moon Oct 9). Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival will be this weekend, Chester County Astronomical Society (CCAS) and possibly others will join us.
MSSP 2018.2 Rain Date: Oct 12-14 at Blue Mountain Vista Observatory (moon sets around 9pm both nights). Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival will be this weekend, CCAS and possibly others will join us.
How events are chosen: At the end of the year, an interest survey is put out by the Camping Coordinator(s) to see what people want to do in the coming year. Traditionally, we do 2-3 trips per year. One is usually at a distance (Cherry Springs State Park) is a favorite, although in future years we will likely go to Green Bank Observatory or Wallops Island. The other trips always include at least one to Blue Mountain Vista Observatories, which is near Hawk Mountain (Raptor) Sanctuary and Cabela’s. We sometimes go on field trips to places such as the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, directed by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, or the National Air and Space Museum in DC. We do our best to keep it affordable, and, generally speaking, it is extremely affordable, almost free for several trips. Destinations depend on member interests.
On the camping trips, called Main Sequence Star Parties, and delineated by the year and number of the trip in the year, e.g. MSSP 2018.1, we have traditions of having a potluck, informal classes presented by participants, as well as a music jam for those who are interested. During the day we also participate in site seeing as a group. We have developed our own inside jokes as a result of our trips, but you are always welcome to join us and learn them and create new ones.
To participate in these trips, we ask that you be a member of DVAA, a family member of a DVAA member, or a face to face (not Internet only) friend of a DVAA member. For this particular year, we are opening up our MSSP events to other astronomy clubs. They are welcome to come if they are paying members of their clubs. They can bring family members and their own face to face friends who are interested. To find out more, join our mailing list, and as we approach times to travel or times to solicit trip requests for the coming year, information will be shared. From time to time, we do open these up to members of other astronomy clubs.
TO REGISTER THIS YEAR, PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING $5 TO DVAA AT A DVAA GENERAL MEETING, OR AT THE FIELD, AND FOLLOW THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT http://bit.ly/MSSP_2018-1_INFORMATION.
The deadline for registration is 7/11/18, although we would prefer to have you register earlier so we can have a clearer idea of who is going.
Come and join us!