starFriday, August 14 come out to see the wonders of the universe through the telescopes of more than a dozen volunteer astronomers. Each year astronomers from across the Midwest, drawn by the darkest skies in Iowa, gather at Whiterock at the end of August for a four day star party hosted by the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers. The public is invited to come out at dusk on Friday for a short astronomy talk, then 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. This event is held at the Star Field 1523 140th Street, Coon Rapids, IA. There is no fee to attend but the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers does accept free will donations.

If you are an astronomer and would like to learn more about the 11th Annual Star Party, visit