Members of the Golden State Star Party prepare their telescopes for the evening’s viewing. File photo

Golden State Star Party arrives in North County

For more than a decade stargazers have gathered beneath the exceedingly dark skies above Lassen County District 4 Supervisor Aaron Albaugh’s ranch near Adin to take in the wondrous sights of the cosmos. The annual Golden State Star Party will be held this year from June 21 through June 25.

Four nights of the event are exclusively for the star party organization, but one night of the event is always open to the public at no charge. This year that free, public night will be Friday, June 23.

Albaugh encourages the public to arrive at his ranch during the daylight hours on Friday. There are even solar scopes set up this year that allow residents to view the sun. Participants don’t need to bring their own telescopes, although they’re welcome to do so. Albaugh said there will be plenty of telescopes on site.

Albaugh said he and his family weren’t always into astronomy, but he knew about the dark skies at his Adin ranch, and recognized the opportunity to host such an event.

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“We’ve made a lot of friends over the years,” said Becky Albaugh, the supervisor’s wife.

Attendees should bring their own water, as no water is available at the site. There also is no driving in or out of the event at night. Observers may park along the road and walk into the observing field. Attendees are urged to park their cars with the headlights facing away from the observing field so they do not disrupt the event.

Albaugh said to get from Susanville to his ranch, participants should drive north on Highway 139. Before arriving in Adin, turn left on Lassen County Road A2, which is marked Bieber, Mt. Shasta. Go about 2 miles or so, and turn right on Bassett Road. Visitors should be able to see the site straight ahead of them. Go about 0.75 of a mile and turn left into the field and arrive at the main gate. Those who will be leaving before dawn should turn their cars around and point their headlights away from the event. It takes about 20 minutes for a person’s eyes to readjust if light hits their eyes while they’re using the telescopes.

Don’t forget to bring your own shade, as there is no cover at the site. Afternoon breezes are great for kite flying, too. Temperatures can be chilly at night, so dress in layers. A shower truck also is available.

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For more information, go to goldenstatestarparty.org or call Albaugh at 708-1761 or send an email to [email protected]