Northern Prairie Star Party 2024

The Northern Prairie Star Party (NPSP) will run from Tuesday, September 3 to Sunday, September 8, 2024, with most of our group activities planned for Friday, September 6 and Saturday, September 7. It is being held at the Black Nugget Lake Park located about an hour’s drive from Edmonton. The campground is also the location of our Black Nugget Lake Observatory.

This year we have ONLINE REGISTRATION for all aspects of the event, including reserving campsites, ordering T-shirts, paying attendee fees, and signing up to volunteer.

This year we are asking that ALL those planning to attend NPSP to PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE – this will assist with our planning. The final deadline for registering (attendees, campsite and T-shirt) and payment is Thursday, August 15, with payment via e-transfer. The link to the NPSP registration page can be found here: NPSP 2024 Registration Form 

RASC Edmonton Centre has booked the northern part of the campground for use by star party event attendees – for use during the entire event. Campsites will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. With a limited number of sites with power, we encourage NPSP attendees wishing to camp overnight to book as soon as possible. The Online Registration Form contains an updated map showing the locations of campsites available to NPSP participants. Note that site numbers have changed for 2024!

June 7th update: As of this date, all the powered sites have been spoken for by registered NPSP participants. The remaining available sites are non-powered. If you have not yet registered and need electricity for your RV you have the option of booking a powered campsite outside the NPSP event area in Black Nugget Lake Campground by going to their online registration page. For those who would like to set up a telescope at the NPSP site for one or more evenings, we will be accommodating astronomers and their equipment with a set-up area near the Black Nugget Lake Observatory. Confirm the location of the set-up area with the NPSP organizers at the Registration Table when you arrive.

We are pleased to let you know that Dr. Christa van Laerhoven has accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker on the afternoon of Saturday, September 7. Christa is a planetary scientist and educator. She gained her Ph.D. from the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, with her research concentrating on long-term changes in the orbits of planets. Her ongoing areas of interest include orbital dynamics – particularly the dynamics of the Kuiper Belt and of multi-planet extra-solar systems, planetary atmospheres and Canada’s role in the return to the Moon. Christa is currently the President of the RASC Yukon Centre. More details on her presentation – as well as the two other Saturday talks and other program elements – will be provided when available. Please check back for updates. Here is a link to the 2024 Schedule (as of May 20) as well as the event Ground Rules.

If you have questions or need more information, you are welcome to get in touch by email with the: NPSP Planning Team.

For reference, you can read about NPSP 2023 here:
https://edmontonrasc.com/2023/09/northern-prairie-star-party-2023

For further information please email the NPSP Planning Team.

Northern Prairie Star Party 2023

Twenty years ago, the first Northern Prairie Star Party (NPSP) was hosted by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) – Edmonton Centre at the Black Nugget Lake campground located southeast of Tofield. This year’s event will run from Tuesday, September 12 to Sunday, September 17, 2023. Most of our group activities are planned for Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16.

It’s not too late to register and take in the many activities of this year’s NPSP. As a registrant, you are welcome to take in any or all of the events planned from Tuesday to Sunday as listed below and in the 2023 NPSP Schedule, General Information and Ground Rules.

The registration fees are: $30 per person and $60 for a family. We highly recommend that you REGISTER IN ADVANCE by emailing the 2023 NPSP Coordinators emailing coordinators Rick and Susan Bramm. This will help with planning, especially for seating in the event tent and for food for the Saturday BBQ. You have the option of sending payment via e-transfer or paying when you arrive onsite. Additional camping fees apply if you are staying overnightclick here to camping arrangements below.

If you’re NOT camping, PLEASE ENTER and exit via the NORTH GATE off TWP road 492 (see map at: https://www.beaver.ab.ca/public/download/files/206106 ) between Group Site 8 and site 91. (The campground operator has requested that ONLY those who are camping need to enter through the main campground entrance.) Proceed to the event tent at Site 92 to check in – this is the location of Friday’s workshop and Saturday’s afternoon presentations. If you are coming out in the evening for viewing at the Black Nugget Lake Observatory with the new Unyk-Drew Telescope, you will be directed there when you arrive at the North Gate.

The 32-inch Unyk-Drew Telescope is now installed in the Black Nugget Lake Observatory, with viewing offered every evening during 2023 NPSP from 9 PM to 1:30 AM (viewing conditions permitting). A daytime tour is scheduled on Saturday from 12 to 1 PM.

Before you come out, please review the detailed schedule and rules & regulations (PDF) about this exciting event.

Continue Reading →

Northern Prairie Star Party 2022

2022 Northern Prairie Star Party

The 17th annual Northern Prairie Star Party (NPSP) was held at the Black Nugget Lake campground southeast of Tofield, Alberta, from September 20 to 25, 2022. We enjoyed four nights of dark sky viewing and a busy Saturday with Black Nugget Lake Observatory building tours, solar observing, three excellent speakers, a variety of door prizes, and a BBQ followed by a great evening of sky viewing.

Please see the October issue of Stardust for a report on this event.

The 2022 NPSP was open to the public – registration fees applied: $30 per person and $60 for a family. Camping fees appled if staying overnight – the northern portion of the campground had been reserved by RASC-Edmonton Centre. The process for reserving a site in that area is described below. Continue Reading →

Northern Prairie Dark Sky Weekend 2021

RASC members only event
Tuesday, September 7 to Saturday, September 11

Update September 3, 2021

This is a members-only event for those wishing to book a campsite for personal observing. Almost all of the sites reserved by RASC-Edmonton Centre have been taken. Please email the Northern Prairie RASC Dark Sky Weekend coordinators Northern Prairie RASC Dark Sky Weekend coordinators Susan and Rick Bramm, for more information.

Northern Prairie Star Party 2019

The sixteenth annual Northern Prairie Star Party was held at the Black Nugget Lake campground south east of Tofield from September 24 to 29, 2019. Most of our group activities occured on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28.

This event is open to the public – registration fees apply. Camping fees apply if staying overnight.*

For more information, please review the schedule and rules & regulations (PDF) and the Northern Prairie Star Party main page.

If you need more information or have questions, please email Rick Bramm.

Friday Program (September 27)

Continue Reading →

Northern Prairie Star Party 2018

The fifteenth annual Northern Prairie Star Party will be held at the Black Nugget Lake campground south east of Tofield from September 4 to 9, 2018. Most of our group activities will occur on Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 8.

This event is open to the public – registration fees apply. Camping fees apply if staying overnight.*

For more information, please review the schedule and rules & regulations (PDF) and the Northern Prairie Star Party main page.

If you need more information or have questions, please email Rick Bramm.

Saturday Afternoon Program (September 8)

1:45 Starting with a 32-inch mirror
Roman Unyk

2:45 The origin of gold and other very heavy elements in the Universe
Rodrigo Fernandez

3:45 Adventures in Meteor Chasing
Bruce McCurdy Continue Reading →

Northern Prairie Star Party 2017

The fourteenth annual Northern Prairie Star Party will be held at the Black Nugget Lake campground south east of Tofield from September 19 to 24, 2017. Most of our group activities will occur on Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23.

For more information, please review the schedule and rules & regulations (PDF) and the Northern Prairie Star Party main page.

Keynote at 3:45 PM on Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dr. Peter Brown
Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario and Canada Research Chair in Meteor Astronomy

Canadian meteorite falls over the last quarter century – How has detection been enhanced and what have we learned?

Having been involved in one aspect or another of almost all Canadian meteorite falls since 1994, Dr. Brown will give a general talk about these falls, the development of a 20-camera meteor network in the last decade and what researchers have learned.

About the Speaker
Dr. Peter Brown is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and Canada Research Chair in Meteor Astronomy. Born and raised in Fort McMurray, Alberta he got his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Alberta and completed his MSc and PhD degrees at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Brown studies small bodies of the solar system, with particular emphasis on the origin and evolution of meteors, meteorites, meteoroids and asteroids. His PhD thesis focused on the Evolution of Two periodic Meteoroid Streams: the Perseids and Leonids.

Continue Reading →

Northern Prairie Star Party 2016

20161001_NPSP Shirt Design - LIGO MAKE WAVESThe thirteenth Northern Prairie Star Party will be held at the Black Nugget Lake campground south east of Tofield from September 27 to October 2, 2016. Most of our group activities will occur on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1.

For more information, please review the schedule and rules & regulations (PDF) and the Northern Prairie Star Party main page.

Keynote at 4:00 PM on Saturday, October 1, 2016

David Levy
My life as a comet searcher

 

NPSP 2016 T-Shirt Design
Order yours by Monday, September 5

Continue Reading →