Observing is the Heart of
Amateur Astronomy

The American Association of
 Amateur Astronomers

Serving the Amateur Astronomy Community
Since 1996

The AAAA Online Store

Home ] Up ] Explore AAAA ] Table of Contents ] Site Index ] Welcome to the AAAA ] Astronomy Links ] AAAA News Page ] AL Observing Programs ] C.L.A.S.S. ] Light Pollution ] FAQ Index ] News and Activities ] AAAA Observing Reports ] AAAA Partnerships ] AAAA  Newlsetter ] Constellation Home Page ] Solar System Data Page ] History of Astronomy ] SWRAL ] Astronomical League ] Search AAAA ]


Search AAAA

The AAAA Universe
Start Here

The AAAA Online Store

Join the AAAA

Control Center
Site Table of Contents

AAAA Members
  Reports and Activities

Frequently Asked Questions

to Astronomy Sites

Fight Light Pollution
Be Part of the Solution

Observing Programs
from the  Astronomical League 

News from the AAAA
Press Releases and News Updates

Overview of Astronomy
A Concise Guide to the Universe

The Solar System
Planetary Data Page

The Constellation 
Home Page
Data, Myths and Background
Arp Peculiar Galaxies
A CCD Image Gallery
The American Astronomer 
The AAAA  Newsletter Online
Members of the AAAA Team

The American Association of Amateur Astronomers 
AAAA Mission Statement

AL Observing Programs in PDF Format
AL Observing Programs in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format

Join the AAAA's FREE Online Discussion Group, Hosted by Yahoo's eGroups Service

P.O. Box 7981
Dallas, TX 75209-0981



Learn the Constellations
The First Light Astronomy Kit from David Chandler Company
Buy it Now or
Find Out More

AAAA News and Activities

Lake Whitney
Summer Star Party

August 26-27, 2000

Summer 2004 - Lake Whitney Summer Star Party
Spring 2003 - Lake Whitney Spring Star Party
Summer 2002 - Lake Whitney Summer Star Party
Spring 2002 - Lake Whitney Astronomy Day Star Party
Spring 2001 - Lake Whitney Astronomy Day Star Party
Summer 2000 - Lake Whitney Summer Star Party

TSP 2005 Observing Programs
TSP 2004 Observing Programs
TSP 2003 Observing Programs
TSP 2001 Observing Programs
TSP 2000 Observing Programs
TSP 1999 Observing Programs
Texas Star Party 2007
Texas Star Party 2005
Texas Star Party 2004
Texas Star Party 2003
Texas Star Party 2002
Texas Star Party 2001
Okie-Tex Star Party
Eldorado Star Party
Lake Whitney Star Parties
McDonald Observatory on Mt. Locke
McDonald Observatory Visitor Center

More than 150 excited amateur astronomers and members of the general public attended the first Lake Whitney Summer Star Party, held at the Recreation Center in the Lake Whitney State Park near Hillsboro, TX. Event organizer Thomas Williamson graciously designated the Central Texas Astronomical Society in Waco, TX, and the American Association of Amateur Astronomers as event sponsors. 

Members of the CTAS provided a pot luck hamburger picnic for attendees and helped with the organization and general administration of event details. AAAA provided help with the presentations and programs, and provided hand-on telescope observing for attendees after the evening presentations were finished. 

Several members of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas were also on hand to help out on the observing field, including TAS member Ron Zimmerman, whose goal is to have 2000 people look through his Meade LX-200 8-inch telescope during the Year 2000. With over 150 clicks on his counter during the LWSP, Ron is now only 50 people short of his goal, with four months left in the year!

The day's activities started out with event organizer Thomas Williamson grinding an 8-inch mirror for a telescope that will be donated to the State Park. Grinding started at noon on Saturday,  August 26. On Sunday, August 27, the work on the mirror was to be completed and mirror null testing performed. Work was done on the scope mount throughout the weekend whenever possible.

At 7:00 PM, the first guest speaker was Dr. Paul Derrick, who writes the "Stargazer" column for the Waco paper. Dr Derrick has often provided slide shows at previous star parties at Lake Whitney and other places in Central Texas. Paul also has been presenting his programs to hundreds of area school students and at several public events for more than 20 years. Dr. Derrick really does a great job, especially with the younger kids. At Lake Whitney, Paul presented his show, "A Trip Through the Universe", in which he describes a trip from Ground Earth to the Edge of the Universe in approximately 40 min. 

At 8:00 PM, Ed  Flaspoehler, Vice President of the American Association of Amateur Astronomers, give his slide show on observing the night sky for the beginning amateur astronomers. Entitled Introduction to Late Summer Deep-Sky Objects, Ed's talk covered five of the most prominent Messier objects up during the summer months, representing each of the five major categories of deep sky objects observable by amateur astronomers: globular clusters, planetary nebulae, open clusters, emission nebulae, and galaxies. This talk includes slides from Ed's personal collection, illustrating the various objects, as well as finder charts and star maps to help the viewer to go find each object on their own. Ed also distributed finder charts and observing logs for people to use later that night on the telescope field. Ed's program is based on  the popular Constellation of the Month programs presented during the monthly meetings of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas. Ed will also be presenting this program at the general meeting of the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club on September 8, and at the Great Plains Star Party on September 30.

The Stars at Night 
Are Big and Bright
Deep in the Heart of Texas!

After dusk, there was telescope viewing under clear Texas skies, and the activity was intense. Even though Texas weather has been very hot and dry this year, evening breezes off Lake Whitney helped keep observers comfortable as attendees and general public were treated to viewing through more than 20 amateur telescopes. The whole thing seemed very organized as each telescope on the field managed to choose a different deep sky object to focus on, so people saw a variety of objects as they moved from scope to scope. Popular targets during the evening were the objects discussed during the earlier presentations. After most of the general public departed, telescope viewing continued on the field until well after 4:00 AM.

The Lake Whitney Star Party was free and open to the public except for park fees of $2.00 per person. The Central Texas Astronomical Society from Waco, Texas, held their August meeting at the star party and helped with door prizes after the slide shows.

The organized presentations and speaker lectures were held at the Recreation Hall in the State Park. The Recreation Hall has recently been air conditioned. 

T-Shirts for the Lake Whitney Star Party were available. The shirts are black with a single face-on galaxy in silver printed with the slogan, " I Explored The Universe, Lake Whitney Summer Star Party." At the lower corner of the galaxy in small letters will be the phrase, "All men find that for which they seek- Arab proverb." 

Lake Whitney is a Texas State Park located near Hillsboro, TX, on State Highway 22, west of I-35.

Contact event organizer Thomas Williamson at 817-656-0901, or via e-mail at distglow@hotmail.com

Contact Lake Whitney State Park at lwsp@digitex.net

The park information web site is http://www.digitex.net/lakewhitneystatepark

Tell Your Friends the Benefits of Joining 
the American Association of Amateur Astronomers!

Observing Awards. Quarterly Newsletter. Astronomy News and Special Publications. Full Membership in the Astronomical League. Club Discounts on Astronomical Publications.

Join the American Association
of Amateur Astronomers.

Use your credit card or send your name and address along with your check for $20.00 ($25.00 family) made payable to AAAA, to:

P.O. Box 7981
Dallas, TX 75209-0981


P.O. Box 7981, Dallas, TX 75209-0981

Formerly Corvus.com

Hit Counter
Counter reset October 2005

Copyright 1996-2016 by The American Association of Amateur Astronomers - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED