From the January 2020 issue

Join Astronomy in Tucson for Our Annual Public Star Party!

By | Published: January 8, 2020 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Tony Hallas
On Saturday, February 15, 2020, Astronomy magazine will sponsor the eighth annual all-day skywatching party at the East Campus Observatory of Pima Community College (PCC), in Tucson, Arizona. The address there is 8181 East Irvington Road. Activities begin at 2 p.m. and continue all the way through 9 p.m.

The event is hosted by the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA), one of the most active astronomy clubs in the United States. Throughout the day, club members will operate several solar telescopes that will give visitors safe, high-quality views of some of the features visible on the Sun.  Then, about an hour after our daytime star sets (at 6:08 p.m. Tucson time), we’ll begin the second phase of skywatching: nighttime observing.

And in addition to numerous telescopes set up by the TAAA, the Pima Community College Observatory will be open throughout the day and night. Its solar telescope will follow the Sun in the daytime, and its 14-inch telescope will target deep-sky treats at night.

Venus will be visible in the post-sunset sky, gleaming brightly, and visible in telescopes. 

As twilight ends, the Pleiades star cluster (M45) will come into view. This will be a great object to view through binoculars and telescopes with a wide field of view. The Orion Nebula (M42) also will be a highlight. This star-forming region is the middle “star” in the constellation of the Hunter.

Fellowship with other star-gazing enthusiasts, the opportunity to ask questions about lots of different telescopes, and the prospect of clear skies mean that the 2020 Tucson Star Party is shaping up as a “must-see” event. So, when you make plans to come out, be sure to bring family and friends. And remember, the star party will be held Saturday, February 15 at the Pima Community College East Campus Observatory, 8181 East Irvington Road, southeast of the center of the city.