2017 Iowa Star Party Weekend

Thursday, September 14th  - Monday, September 18th
Whiterock  Resort - Coon Rapids, IA

May 18th, 2017 (Ames, Iowa). Amateur astronomers from all over the Midwest will gather September 14-18 at Whiterock Conservancy southeast of Coon Rapids for the 15th annual Iowa Star Party. The astronomer participants are organizing a public viewing night for Friday, September 15, starting at 7:30 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning. Members of the public are invited to experience the spectacular night skies with powerful telescopes and knowledgeable amateur astronomers.

The area near Coon Rapids was identified by one of the founding members of the Iowa Star Party as one of the darkest areas in the state of Iowa. Because of its unique location away from the lights of nearby cities, the Whiterock Conservancy is the perfect place for astronomers in the Midwest to set up their telescopes and see the wonders of the night sky. Participants in the Iowa Star Party don't want to keep these wonders to themselves, though - they are excited about sharing the Universe with the public.

Astronomers from the region will be setting up their telescopes in the Star Field at Whiterock Conservancy starting on Thursday, September 14.

There will be a free public viewing night at the Whiterock Conservancy Star Field on Friday, September 15 starting at 7:30pm. Members of the public are invited to attend, and will be entered into a drawing for door prizes. After the talk, astronomer participants in the star party welcome everyone to take a look through their various telescopes at all the dark Iowa skies have to offer. If the weather is clear, visitors will have the chance to see numerous different galaxies, nebulas and stars millions of light years away, as well as some of the planets in our cosmic back yard, the Solar System. All ages are welcome, and appropriate attire for the weather and a blanket are recommended.

Whiterock Conservancy is an Iowa nonprofit land trust dedicated to conserving and protecting Iowa's natural resources, demonstrating sustainable rural land management, and engaging the public with the environment through outdoor recreation and education. It manages 5,400 acres in the scenic Middle Raccoon River Valley southeast of Coon Rapids.

Contact info and web site: Deb Bonser
dbonser@usa.net 641-751-4645,

View Larger Map Get Driving Directions to the Star Field below