Star Party at Royer Oaks Observatory - September 23rd, 2017

The sixth Tule River Amateur Astronomers star party of 2017 is scheduled to be at Royer Oaks Observatory above Springville, on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017.

Royer Oaks Observatory
40708 Balch Park Road #B
Springville, CA 93265

===A Look Back At Last Month===
We canceled last month (August 12th) because of preparation for our trip to Oregon to see the total solar eclipse.

===A Look Ahead At This Month===
This month's party (September 23rd, 2017) will feature perhaps the solar system's most beautiful planet: Saturn. The summer Milky Way will be straight up as soon as it gets dark, so there will be plenty of bright deep sky objects to choose from.
The day length is only 12:08, and getting shorter, though we'll actually be at the equinox on Friday the 22nd at 1:02p Pacific Time. The equinox is the exact moment when the Sun crosses the celestial equator, which is the same moment for the entire world. The equilux is the day when Sunrise and Sunset occur exactly 12 hours apart, which will be a few days after the equinox, and can differ slightly depending upon your latitude.
We'll also get a look at the Moon early as it falls behind the trees to the west, setting just after 9pm.
There will be a very nice pass by the International Space Station at around 8:06pm. It will be 34 degrees high in the south and reach magnitude -2.5, just before it passes into the Earth's shadow and disappears.
Please try to arrive at the observing site by 6:51p (sunset).  Be respectful of others as they try to get their eyes dark adapted.  Avoid using a white flashlight.

Sunrise: 6:43am
Solar noon: 12:47pm
Sunset: 6:51pm
Twi: 7:17pm
Twi N: 7:47pm
Twi A: 8:17pm
Moonset: 9:14pm
Day length: 12h 8m
The Weather:
The 10 day forecast for Springville can be found here:

If the party is called off for any reason I'll inform everyone by mid-day on the day of the event.

ClearDarkSky is a good resource to monitor for the expected sky conditions at Royer Oaks Observatory.

Wondering what satellites might be flying over Royer Oaks? Use Heavens-Above.

You should bring warm clothes because it may get cold as the night progresses, a dim RED flashlight to protect your night-vision, and some drinking water.  (A thermos of coffee or hot chocolate and some snacks might not be a bad idea)  Lawn chairs and a blanket to lay on are also very popular.  If you have binoculars, definitely bring those.

Royer Oaks is about a 1 hour and 10 minute drive from Visalia.

Here is a complete list of the scheduled star party dates for 2017.  Note that dates are subject to change or cancellation depending upon availability of the observing site, and the weather.  If you can't make it for this gathering then please keep these dates in mind.

April 29, 2017
May 27, 2017
June 24, 2017 (Canceled)
July 22, 2017
August 12, 2017 (Tentative, depending on our solar eclipse trip and the Perseids) (Canceled)
>September 23, 2017
October 21, 2017
November 18, 2017

For more information visit:


Tule River Amateur Astronomers