Join us for the
Come visit the Eldorado Star Party for our 10th Year! Just for amateur astronomers who want dark skies and a protected environment on the 7,100 acre X-Bar Ranch near Eldorado, Texas.
Now an established week-long event, come out Monday to get maximum exposure to dark skies. This year meal service will begin with dinner on Monday evening, and lunch and dinner served Tuesday through Saturday.
Sponsored by the Austin Astronomical Society, San Antonio Astronomical Association, and NEW! Hill Country Astronomers (Fredericksburg) with the support of the Texas Star Party, and volunteers from area clubs including Dallas and Houston, this event promises to bring dark skies closer to the amateur astronomer. The central location (46 miles west of Fort McKavett) is within easy driving distance of many Texas cities (Map), and enjoys the dry climate of west Texas.
The site is 8 miles north of Interstate-10 (Click here for Area Map), and has a convenient all-weather road and parking area at the observing fields. Camping and RVs available on-site. Hot-water showers and toilet facilities are conveniently located near the camping areas. Specially-priced motel rooms are available in nearby Sonora and Ozona. X-Bar also has a few cabins located a short walk away. Lunch and dinner will be catered at X-Bar's nearby Live Oak Lodge.
ESP 2012 was held October 8-14. 148 attendees had a great time under dark
See our Orientation Page , Site Map, and Photos of ESP 2008, more ESP 2008 and and ESP 2004
Click here to see our 2013 Schedule, including Guest Speakers.
The observing areas include power for telescopes and equipment, and is organized so that you may drive on-off from the nearby light-shielded parking area at night without impacting the observers on the fields. Please read the Darkout rules!
Click here for our Site Map. Latitude 30.7327778 N, Longitude 100.8256389 W
Visit our ClearSky webpage, which includes topo and aerial maps!
Vendors are welcome to set up adjacent to the observing field and are allowed one sign/banner for advertising.
Our ESP 2012 guest speakers included Dwight Jurena, Geology Department at San Antonio College speaking on Impact Structures and Craters of Texas and Ken Pendlebury, speaking on Imaging Basics - What you need to know to start.
Doorprizes will be awarded on Saturday afternoon (must be present to win). Please thank these generous ESP 2012 vendors.
Enjoy our 2012 Clouds I Have Known telescope and binocular observing programs in the ESP Observing Programs and Archive!
X-Bar's Live Oak Lodge is also a great place to hang out for wireless internet,
satellite TV news (or football), or relax on
the spacious back porch and take in the scenic Hill Country panoramic views.
Wireless internet is also available on Observing Field and in camping area.
Pick up a copy of the map of X-Bar's hand-made well-marked hiking/nature trails, starting at the Lodge.
Want something more to do? Here's a great list of other nearby places to see, including one of the most beautiful caves in the US... the Caverns of Sonora!