The 39th Annual Deep South Star Gaze (oldest continuous annual star party in the United States*) will begin on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021. It seems like just yesterday that we held our first one at Percy Quin State Park back in 1983. At that time our attendee list was made up primarily of amateur astronomers from the Pontchartrain Astronomy Society in New Orleans, the Baton Rouge Astronomical Society, and the Jackson (MS) Astronomical Association. * - continuous annual meaning without a lapse, there are a few others such as Stellafane and the Texas Star Party that had their events cancelled in one or more years due primarily to Covid. The Deep South has never had a cancellation.
39 years is a long time. Many attendees who were in their late 20's to early 30's back in 1983 are now in their mid 60's to mid 70's and many are now retired. However there is still a lot of interest in everything that a star party represents. Star parties world wide have grown in popularity. Back in our early years we were the only one happening at the time of year that we do the DSSG (mid to late October to early to mid November near new moon). Now everyone has options. There are two other star parties going on within 750 miles of the Deep South this year at the same time as our event.
The best place to learn more about the 39th Annual Deep South Star Gaze is by visiting and joining the Deep South Star Gaze discussion board which can be pulled up at: dssg.boards.net
Once on that site you can join and as soon as we see that request and approve it you will be in. You can explore the site and find answers to virtually all your questions. You can pull up the registration/reservation form for this year. You can check out the Observing Field Rules & Regulations (unfortunately we have to have some rules for the greater good of all You will be given suggestions as to what to explore in the area and where to eat (we should have some meals on site as well). You will also find photos and directions.
Another thing, and this one is very important - as is the case with other star parties. We do have a Covid-19 vaccine mandate. You have to be vaccinated to attend. (Children in attendance with their parents do not have to be vaccinated if under the age of 12). If registering you should bring your vaccination card or you can just pull up your Louisiana Wallet proof for us to take a brief glance at upon your arrival. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Please, please, please do not forget whatever proof you have at home, you will have to go home and get it. This mandate may seem harsh, but not really. One of our hosts at the White Horse Christian Retreat Camp is on a transplant list and he is immunocompromised because of the treatment he is receiving. We need to protect everyone and especially him.
If you have questions that are not answered, ask them here, I will respond.
Barry Simon, Director
Deep South Star Gaze
Where fellow stargazers meet and greet.
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