UBarU Star Party – August 13-16, 2020

Update:  we have outlined plans (see below) for maintaining physical distancing and minimizing risks while moving ahead with the hybrid 2020 Star party event in a manner that will be enjoyable to all, within the safety guidelines for gatherings, and not place participants at a foreseeable health risk from the virus.    

The Star Party at UBarU - our fourth comprehensive star-party event. Presenters include Dr. Angela Speck, Robert Reeves, Dr. Amanda Bayless & John Phelps. 

Virtual Event Registration-  Early Bird - adult $50 (child 6 – 18 years,  $25); student (19-24 years)- $25 (Need school/college ID) includes access to the online lectures from our 4 presenters which you can watch at your convenience, Q & A sessions via Zoom with the 4 presenters (separately) on Friday and Saturday afternoons, 3 virtual star parties presented by our astronomers showing the UBarU sky and selected objects.  All these parts of the 2020 Virtual UBarU Star Party will be included in the registration cost.  

At this time, we are not offering any on-site lodging or meals.  Our accommodations are full with registered participants that will allow for physical distancing and separation of the particular family/familiar units who plan to be onsite.  

If you would like to participate, please register at using the link at the bottom of this page.  

Virtual Event: 

1.    Star parties each night Thurs-Sat via Zoom sessions at 7 p.m. using photos taken from the UBarU campus highlighting interesting features of the July/August night sky.  

2.    There will be pre-recorded formal presentations by professional astronomers which you can access at your convenience.  Presenters include: Dr. Angela Speck, Astrophysicist and Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Texas-San Antonio; Astrophysicist Dr. Amanda Bayless of the Southwest Research Institute; Astrophotographer and Nightscape Photography expert, John Phelps of John Phelps Photography; and Robert Reeves, an accomplished and nationally–known astro-photographer, imager and author. 

3.  Question and answer sessions via Zoom with each presenter. 

Distinguished Presentations – There will be astronomy presentations via YouTube by professional and/or distinguished astronomers.  The times listed are for live follow-up Q&A sessions by the presenters using Zoom.

1.    Friday 2:00 p.m. - Presentation #1 by Dr. Angela Speck,  – Ph.D. in Astronomy from University College London, and Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Texas-San Antonio .

2.    Friday 4:30 p.m. – Presentation #2 by Robert Reeves - an accomplished and nationally–known astro-photographer, imager and author. 

3.    Saturday – 2:00 p.m. - Presentation #3 by Dr. Amanda Bayless – Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin, and research scientist in the Space Science and Engineering Division of the Southwest Research Institute.

4.    Saturday 4:30 p.m. – Presentation #4 by John Phelps of John Phelps Photography in Austin, an expert in Nightscape Photography and imaging with DSLR cameras. 

In accordance with state, local, IDA and federal public health recommendations, we will implement the following measures for folks on site.  

1. We will maintain social distancing in our on-site lodging by stating that we expect those staying in cottages or private rooms to ensure that in each case the occupants are of a single family or those who are otherwise cohabiting with each other. 

2. We will use disposable and single-serve items as part of meal service and have diners physically distance during eating including using the outdoor areas.  

3. Our staff will wear face masks when preparing and serving meals, and for all other activities dealing with the participants and clean touched surfaces often.

4. We strongly request that participants also wear face masks when interacting with others excepting for their lodging partners and when eating meals.

5. We will provide/promote social spacing at group meals, presentation viewing, Q & A sessions and sky observing for participants who are in shared spaces.

6. We will practice social distancing for viewings at the observatory and regularly disinfect the equipment in use. We recommend the same practice for those sharing their private scopes with others outside their family or lodging partners. 

7. The pool is chlorinated, but social distancing is required for all who choose to use it.