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2017 IDSSP

Illinois Dark Skies Star Party

Sept. 21 – 23, 2017

Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Area

Observer oriented – Dark skies – Great facilities – Fantastic food

The Star Party will be pretty much be the same as in previous years – good site, plenty of room to spread out, good food, good programs, friendly folks, and of course The IDSSP Give-Away.

For those of you who have not been to our star party before I would say, there is no better place in Illinois to spend a weekend with your telescope than at IDSSP!

Watch the Illinois Dark Skies Star Party video

Click on the “Maps” tab of this website to attain printable maps of the area and directions.

2017 IDSSP Registration Form Please note that the form is a two page form and the second page addresses a Liability Release and requires the registrant’s signature. We also appreciate legible printing of the form in order to facilitate the production of the official name badges administered at check-in.

2017 IDSSP Menu  You can place your food order when you register.   The meals will be prepared and served by our local chapter of the Lions Clubs.

Check out the new 2017 IDSSP T-Shirt design! Be sure to check your appropriate sizes on the registration form. Featured T-Shirt design is Total Solar Eclipse. Both long & short sleeves t-shirts and sweatshirts are available.


2017 IDSSP Speakers and Activities

Friday, September 22 – 2:00pm
Jennifer Hubbell-Thomas, Williamsville, Illinois teacher. — Jennifer was a member of one of the 11 educator teams selected to participate in NASA’s Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program using the SOFIA telescope. — Last year Jennifer previewed her experience with the Stratospheric Observatory forInfrared Astronomy (SOFIA). At this year’s star party, Jennifer will talk about her involvement with the NASA program and her – not one but two – flights aboard the Boeing 747 which housed the 19-ton, 100-inch-diameter SOFIA instrument.


Saturday, September 23 – 2:00pm
Dr. John Martin, Associate Professor of Astronomy-Physics and member of the Sangamon Astronomical Society. — Dr. Martin’s presentation will focus on high mass stars in M31 and M33. A survey of these high mass stars has been underway for the last five years and the data is coming in. High mass stars are much less common; maybe only few dozen more than 40 times the mass of the Sun in our own galaxy. How do they get from the main-sequence to the supernovae stage? Recently it’s even been called into question if the most massive stars produce a visible supernova at all! John will discuss how Wolf-Rayet stars, Luminous Blue Variable, warm hyper giants and B[e] supergiants fit in the evolution of the most massive stars.

Astrophotography Contest
Attendees will select the winner. $50 First Prize – $25 Second Prize. Photos must be taken within the last year (starting from the date of last year’s star party, Sept. 29), label the pictures with the date-taken and location. We also request winners to provide SAS with a pdf version of the photo so we can post it to our website and Facebook page.

Astronomy Bowl
Quiz and Trivia with prizes

Swap Meet
“Let’s make a deal”
If you’re looking for that one accessory to round out your eye piece collection or finish off that home-built scope, or maybe you have extra ATM parts that need a good home, the Swap Meet may just be the perfect opportunity. Bring your search list or spare parts swap or sell. We’ll have a bulletin board posted at the food pavilion to connect buyers and sellers throughout the event.

"Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives." - Socrates

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