About SJAA Star Parties
Houge Park: This is the star party recommended for first time SJAA visitors. The Houge Park star parties, near Campbell and Los Gatos, always draw a good variety of astronomers and telescopes. The skies at Houge Park are better than you would expect for a mid-city location. Houge Park star parties are scheduled twice a month -once during first quarter Moon when excellent lunar views are available, and once during third quarter Moon for more deep sky observing.
Henry Coe State Park: This location has good dark skies and sometimes better weather than Fremont Peak, but is much less frequently visited these days by SJAA observers. The observing area is on a grassy knoll behind a gate near the visitor center. Come before sunset if you can, and you may find some observers setting up their gear. They'll be happy to escort you behind the gate and share views through the telescopes.
Fremont Peak State Park: Just south of San Juan Bautista at Fremont Peak State Park you'll find some of the darkest skies within 100 miles of San Jose. Finding the park down county road G1 could mean making a wrong turn if you're not careful at the bottom of the hill by the San Juan Inn, but once you've made your way to the top, you've arrived at the local mecca for amateur observing. On warm new moon weekends, it's not uncommon to find forty or fifty amateur telescopes set up at several locations. If you don't plan to stay the night, you'll want to park where you can depart without headlights. To find the SJAA star party host, walk by the ranger's house to the well-marked Fremont Peak Observatory, and ask the presiding volunteer interpreter.
For directions to SJAA star party locations, call our hotline at (408) 559-1221.
|Morris Jones; last updated: October 03, 2007||Prev Next|