No Pre-Registration necessary, but please see John Miller prior to nightfall on Friday or Saturday nights to pay for attendance.


Special Thanks to:

Montclair State University and the NJ School of Conservation for being gracious hosts of this spectacular event.


Observing at the Stokes Star Party

Above: A color-coded light pollution map highlights the areas of rampant light pollution (white and red) to more rural areas (yellow) in New Jersey. An overhead view of the observing field is included. North is up. A larger scale image is available by cicking on this smaller image.


The core of the Stokes Star Party is the nightly observing that can be done from the main observing field. A number of factors contribute to the excellent conditions found at this location, not the least of which are the elevation (nearly 800') and the nearby ridgelines that block both distant and local light pollution.


The color-coded image above shows the most current state of light pollution within New Jersey. Only the far southern county of Cape May, the Pinelands and the far Northwestern corner of Sussex County offer true deep-sky observing opportunities. However, neither of the two other locales offer the elevation and ridgeline protection that the Stokes Star Party can offer. Furthermore, the rural areas of the Poconos to the West, Rockland and Orange Counties to the East/Northeast and the rest of Sussex and Warren Counties to the South provide a dark sky buffer for the Stokes Star Party, which is located solidly in the yellow on the color-coded image.


On nights of excellent transparency, stars as dim as Magnitude 5.8 can be glimpsed and seeing conditions to the East are routinely excellent due to the calming affect of Lake Wapallane. For those that stay up until the wee-hours of the morning for the Stokes Star Party in the Spring, the Summer Milky Way can be observed rising over the Lake. Globular clusters in Sagittarius are easily visible with even the smallest telescopes as they rise over the tree-tops to the South. But for those who prefer Galaxy hunting, the dark Northeastern and Eastern skies permit great viewing in April of all that Leo and his surroundings have to offer.


In addition, a Google Earth satellite view of the observing field and surrounding forest land is provided to detail the Stokes Star Party's seclusion. The main observing field is highlighted with a "push-pin" icon in the image.


The observing field is large enough to handle even the largest gatherings and is free of rocks and slopes. Any spot on the field is a good spot to set up.


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