What is a Star Party?

About 3-4 times a year, the Physical Sciences department at ACC hosts a Star Party at ACC’s Round Rock campus.  The name, “Star Party” is a little misleading, because though there is guided viewing through the telescopes on the observing deck, and the Austin Planetarium sets up their mobile planetarium in the future cafeteria just off the main lobby in building 2000, there are other activities going on that may be stellar, but not in an astronomy related use of that word.  Dr. Jim Heath conducts a talk on various subjects pertaining to science and astronomy (and if you’ve never heard Dr. Heath, you owe it to yourself to go to at least one of the talks – you will be entertained, informed, and you may even find out that you enjoyed it and want to know more).  The Geology folks often bring some of their rocks and fossils to exhibit, and to answer questions.  And ACCHaoS sets up all of their activities in the lobby of building 2000.

Observation deck

Observation deck

Having ACCHaoS at the Star Party is different than a school visit because all ages attend, and can stay as long as they want.  Adults enjoy the activities too, and even some of the youngest children find something of interest.

The next Star Party will be on Friday, February 15, 2013 from 5:30 – 9:30pm at the Round Rock campus.  ACCHaoS will be there, and so will the Austin Planetarium’s Discovery Dome mobile planetarium.  Dr. Jim Heath will deliver a talk on “What’s the Deal with Pluto?” from 7:00-8:00pm, and aftewards there will be stargazing from the observing deck.  It’s open to the public, and best of all – it’s all free!  For more info, visit the Star Party page at go.austincc.edu/starparty.

Leave a comment


  1. Fort Davis hosts Star Parties, too! They are a great way for kids and adults alike to learn more about the universe!

    • I’ve never been, but I would love to go!
      Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX also has star parties. They sometimes have “Yoga Under the Stars.” Sounds fun!


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