Stargazing in the Texas South Plains


The South Plains Astronomy Club (SPAC) holds two Public Stargazing Events each month (weather permitting) and everyone is invited to come by and observe the moon, planets and other celestial objects through a variety of telescopes operated by our club members. The "Saturday Star Walk" is a new event that invites you to walk along garden paths in the Lubbock Arboretum, passing from telescope to telescope, each with a view of a different celestial object. It replaces the Public Star Party that SPAC used to hold at Tech Terrace Park in Lubbock. The event later in the month in Ransom Canyon is a more traditional Public Star Party, where you can wander among a collection of telescopes set up in a large grassy area to view a variety of celestial objects (as shown in the photos above).



SATURDAY STAR WALK
AT THE ARBORETUM

WHEN?
The first Saturday in the month. See the SPAC Calendar of Events for the exact date this month.
WHERE?
The Rose Garden just north of the Hodges Community Center.

The Hodges Community Center is located at the Lubbock Arboretum, on the southeast corner of University Avenue and 40th Street.



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The Saturday Star Walk is a collaboration between the South Plains Astronomy Club and the Lubbock Parks and Recreation Department and Lubbock Arboretum. This event is held at the Arboretum's Rose Garden located just north of the Hodges Community Center. Visitors can stroll down the paved paths in the garden, going from telescope to telescope, each with a view of a different celestial object (the Moon, planets, star clusters, nebulas, double stars and more). Since the sky changes from month to month, the list of celestial objects also changes, with new ones every month. SPAC Members will be stationed at each telescope and will describe what is being viewed and can answer questions about it.

The Star Walk will start around a half-hour after sundown and will continue for approximately two hours. Depending on how long a person spends at each telescope, it should take around 30 to 45 minutes to complete the Star Walk. Be sure to dress warmly in the winter, and bring some insect repellent in the warmer months. There will be restroom facilities available at the Hodges Community Center. There is plenty of parking adjacent to the Rose Garden and the Hodges Community Center.



PUBLIC STAR PARTY IN
RANSOM CANYON

WHEN?
The third Saturday in the month. See the SPAC Calendar of Events for the exact date this month.
WHERE?
The large grassy area known as "The Meadow" in Ransom Canyon just east of Lubbock.

From East 50th Street, take Ransom Road down into the Canyon and then turn right on West Lakeshore Drive to "The Meadow".



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Look for the "Public Star Party" sign that we'll put up along the side of West Lakeshore Drive next to where we'll be setting up our telescopes. Got your own telescope or binoculars? Bring them! Like mosquitoes? We got 'em! Actually, you should probably bring bug repellent during the warmer months.

We'll usually start setting up our telescopes around sundown or shortly thereafter. Keep in mind that the time of sundown changes over the year— it could be around 8:30 PM in the summer and around 5:30 PM in the winter. We'll start observing once it gets dark. We'll typically observe for a couple of hours, or as long as people want to hang around and look at stuff.



These events depend upon the weather - the sky has to be clear or mostly clear - you can't see the moon or stars if it's cloudy! If there's any doubt, see the Message Board on the SPAC Main Page a few hours before the event to see if it's been cancelled.

So, if the clouds stay away, come on out and join the members of the South Plains Astronomy Club for an evening of stargazing under the West Texas skies.

 

HOMEReturn to SPAC Main Page
Questions or comments? Email SPAC@cat-star.org