Star Parties

 

Magdalena Ridge Observatory hosts a number of star parties throughout the year. You may  attend our regularly monthly scheduled star party,  join us for our annual event.  Or schedule your own private star party.

monthly star party

There is a star party at the Etscorn Campus Observatory on the campus of New Mexico Tech every first Saturday of the month.  The event starts an hour after the Sun sets.  If the skies are clear we will look through several telescopes at interesting astronomical objects that are visible at that time of year.   If it turns out to be cloudy or too windy to set up the telescopes, we will entertain and educate you via some really impressive imagery from several web sites.
While you are at it, make it a day and night event by visiting the Very Large Array between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm for guided tours  VLA TOURS
local map

Driving Instructions

Coming north on I-25 to Socorro, NM
Use exit 147 to California street, proceed north to Bullock blvd, turn left.  Follow Bullock blvd to Olive lane.  Turn right onto Canyon Drive, proceed up the hill the stop sign at Buck Wolfe Drive, turn right and follow signs to Etscorn Campus Observatory.
Coming South on I-25 to Socorro, NM
Use exit 150 to California street, proceed south to Bullock blvd, turn right.  Follow Bullock blvd to Olive lane.  Turn right onto Canyon Drive, proceed up the hill the stop sign at Buck Wolfe Drive, turn right and follow signs to Etscorn Campus Observatory.
Coming East on Highway 60 to Socorro, NM
At California street turn left, proceed north to Bullock blvd, turn left.  Follow Bullock blvd to Olive lane.  Turn right onto Canyon Drive, proceed up the hill the stop sign at Buck Wolfe Drive, turn right and follow signs to Etscorn Campus Observatory.

Annual Events


Enchanted Skies Star Party

On the weekend of dark of moon in either in September or October there is 4 night star party (Wednesday through Saturday) called  THE ENCHANTED SKIES STAR PARTY.  This event is help at Star Village about 2 miles northwest of Magdalena, NM.   This event usually host over 100 people of all ages.   There tours of the Very Large Array and Magdalena Ridge Observatory as well a several events in the town of Magdalena.

Request A Star Party

If you are interested in either star parties or classroom presentations at New Mexico Tech or your location please contact the Coordinator of Education and Public Outreach, Dr. Daniel A. Klinglesmith at (505) 835-6802.

Star parties at New Mexico Tech will be hosted at the Etscorn Campus Observatory by the New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club. Visitors will be treated to view of the night sky using several optical telescopes designed for direct viewing. Also available will be two computer controlled telescopes with digital cameras. Bring your thumb sticks or writeable CDs and you can take home your own images of the impressive celestial objects.

local map

Driving Instructions

Coming north on I-25 to Socorro, NM
Use exit 147 to California street, proceed north to Bullock blvd, turn left.  Follow Bullock blvd to Olive lane.  Turn right onto Canyon Drive, proceed up the hill the stop sign at Buck Wolfe Drive, turn right and follow signs to Etscorn Campus Observatory.
Coming South on I-25 to Socorro, NM
Use exit 150 to California street, proceed south to Bullock blvd, turn right.  Follow Bullock blvd to Olive lane.  Turn right onto Canyon Drive, proceed up the hill the stop sign at Buck Wolfe Drive, turn right and follow signs to Etscorn Campus Observatory.
Coming East on Highway 60 to Socorro, NM
At California street turn left, proceed north to Bullock blvd, turn left.  Follow Bullock blvd to Olive lane.  Turn right onto Canyon Drive, proceed up the hill the stop sign at Buck Wolfe Drive, turn right and follow signs to Etscorn Campus Observatory.

Star parties at your location are also an option. We will bring the telescopes to you and provide information about the objects that are viewed. Might as well have a classroom presentation while you are at it.

Classroom presentations are suitable for grades 4 through 9 and can be upgraded to include high school classes as needed. The currently available presentations include:

  • “Scale model of our Solar System” – A self-consistent model of both the sizes of and distances between the objects within our solar system.
  • “The making of a comet” – A discussion of the nature and origin of comets, including a hands on model of what a comet looks and feels like.
  • “Meteor impacts on the moon” – Demonstration of creation of lunar craters and factors that determine the size of lunar craters.
  • “Phase of the moon and Lunar and Solar Eclipses” – Hands on exercises that demonstrate the phases of the moon and the reasons for lunar and solar eclipse.

Any one of these presentations can be completed in standard classroom period of 40 – 60 minutes. If we come to your location a star party would be a natural follow up.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Daniel A. Klinglesmith
Magdalena Ridge Observatory
New Mexico Tech
801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801
(505) 835 – 6802, (505) 835 – 6807 FAX, (505) 321 – 1089 Cell