Yosemite 2018


2018 Yosemite Star Party at Glacier Point – August 3rd and 4th


QUESTIONS? Send an email to yosemite2018@sfaa-astronomy.org

Since this is a Public Viewing Event that the SFAA attends as guests of the National Parks, all campers are expected to bring a telescope and be willing to host public viewing. The club aims to bring one telescope for every two SFAA members attending.

About the Trip

The SFAA is provided with FREE admission to Yosemite National Park as well as FREE reserved, shared campgrounds at Bridalveil Group Campground.

The campsite is 8.5 miles away from Glacier Point.

We will host two public star parties at Glacier Point, on Friday and Saturday night. We have the public (about 200 – 300 people) from twilight for a few hours, and then the rest of the night (and all day) to ourselves; this is a mighty good deal, considering how some folks come 12,000 miles to see these rocks. The National Park Service limits astronomy clubs to a maximum of 30 SFAA campers. Please do not ask if your friends can come …unless they are SFAA members and have telescopes.

Observing site at Glacier Point

The observing area is mostly open, with incredible views from about NNW to the east, around to due south. The horizon from south around to the west is partly blocked by tall trees. Still, there is a lot of open sky, and typically, the seeing and transparency are excellent. It has warm temperatures of 70 to 90 during the day, and cool to chilly 40′s at night, due to the elevation of 7200 feet.

Star Party

One of the rangers does a sunset talk, and then delivers the crowd to us. Following that, a member of the club will give an evening talk, (want to volunteer?) The public will have white flashlights, and we need to be tolerant of that. We will have 3 club members with red brake light tape to politely cover the offending flashlights. Expect many questions from the public.  Be sure to be familiar with SFAA’s Star Party Etiquette.

The Reward

By around 9:30 or so, we will have the place to ourselves, and can stay until dawn if you so choose. Scopes must be removed when we quit, then set up again on Saturday. Some of us may set up sun scopes during the afternoon, show Half Dome festooned with rock climbers, and invite people to come back again after sunset.

Gastronomic Astronomic

Early Saturday eve is the traditional potluck meal and is always tons of fun. Please provide enough food for ~ say 3 or 4 people. Salads, main courses, pu pu’s and desserts are all welcome. The question is: Who will have the best astronomical gastronomical theme of incredible edibles this year? Remember the Brown Dwarfs? Prizes will be awarded! Please remember this repast takes time. It’s better to start our own gastronomic party early so that there’s no need to rush for set up Saturday evening on Glacier Point.

Check the National Weather Service for up-to-date weather info on Yosemite Park current weather and conditions.

See you at the campsite.

Dave Frey and Douglas Smith, SFAA Onsite Coordinators