TSP May 14 – May 22, 2023, Hosted at Prude Guest Ranch- near Fort Davis, TX

The TSP schedule is arranged with the astronomer in mind, with nothing scheduled in the mornings. But there are lots of unscheduled activities as well, including items of interest for you, spouses and children! TSP Ladies is now TSP “PARTNERS” to acknowledge our attendees enjoy participating in non Astronomy related activities and TSP Staff wants to provide everyone with activities to participate in while at TSP Star Parties.  Our Non Astronomy Related Activities are not just for our Female Attendees. While this is a Star Party Event we are hosting.  We realize that we have attendees who are attending with their significant other and are not into astronomy.  And we have attendees that want to do other activities besides Astronomy. We will be researching more activities to offer our attendees.  Keep checking back in for updates.  And of course, if you have suggestions, please contact us at

Here’s a partial activities list to tell you more:


To be announced as TSP staff schedules speakers and activities.  Please check back for updates.

Show  your  Stuff!

TBD-Check back for updates.

 Swap Meet

Amateurs who want to join in some good old-fashioned horse-trading will want to take part in the Swap Meet on Friday morning. It will be located in front of the Vendor’s Display Building. Bring your own card table, blanket, or tailgate!

Commercial Displays

The Vendor Pavilion usually provides a place for our scheduled vendor displays.

As a courtesy to observers and astrophotographers, there is absolutely no commercial selling/display of wares on observing fields without approval of TSP staff. Interested in being a TSP vendor or showing your wares? Read our Vendor Information page

Our 2019 vendors can be seen on our list of Vendors that donate Doorprizes.

Bus Tours to McDonald Observatory

The W.J. McDonald Observatory, owned and operated by The University of Texas, is on the summit of 6,800 foot Mt. Locke in the heart of the Davis Mountains. The Observatory has telescopes for optical, infrared, and radio wavelengths. The telescopes include 368, 107, 82, 36, and 30 inch instruments.

Keeping an Eye on the Weather

We will obtain weather satellite pictures/loops of cloud movements for the area as well as the latest forecasts. Weather information is obtained at the TSP Radio Building (look for antenna tower).

Launch the —> TSP Weather Center Display

Pictures are available during daytime hours on the weather display adjacent to the Ranch Office. A white kiosk with weather pictures will be located near the Lodge building located just north of the Upper observing field.

Check out the TSP Weather Center for other weather links

Authorizing School-aged Children

The Texas Education Agency no longer provides a list of sanctioned Extracurricular Activities, since the Texas Legislature has seen fit to place this area directly with the local school districts. Therefore, if you would like to attend TSP with your child and have an excused-absence, then you will need to persuade your local school officials to obtain their permission.

TSP was on the TEA list for many years, until the list was discontinued. TSP is a non-profit event, operated as an education activity for astronomy. We have scheduled daily paper-sessions and evening talks presented by amateur and professional astronomers. There is much practice and learning of astronomy and related subjects in the observing fields each night. TSP provides a unique opportunity to observe the nighttime skies without local lights diminishing dark-adaptation, and in dark skies away from city light-pollution.

View some helpful letters and endorsements, to assist your school district officials for evaluation of this extracurricular activity.