A Letter from Texas Star Party officials:
To Whom It May Concern:
The Texas Star Party is an annual event where people can come to learn about the science of astronomy, share experiences, and observe astronomical objects first-hand from very dark skies, away from the diluting-effects of the light-pollution of our cities.
In addition to observing (using the naked-eye and binoculars, up to very large amateur telescopes towering 15′ tall), the TSP event has daily paper sessions and special guest speakers for evening talks. Not only can the TSP attendee find out about what amateurs are doing with photography or about that most recent Solar-eclipse expedition, but they can also hear what professional astronomers are doing at some of the world’s largest observatories, and the latest thinking in the science of cosmology.
TSP also provides on-hands interaction by providing Observing Lists, amateur telescope-making(ATM), and astrophotography recognition for its attendees.
Amateur astronomers from throughout the United States, Canada, and many foreign countries come for this unique week-long observers conference. With attendance from 500 to 1,000 people, TSP has attracted a wide variety of telescopes and instruments to its observing fields, and the opportunity to interact with many people from a variety of disciplines.
For many years TSP has welcomed students to attend TSP as an extra-curricular event, via endorsement of the Texas Education Agency. Although the TEA no longer has this responsibility, the TSP encourages student attendance by waiving the registration fee for children 14 and younger when accompanied by a parent.
The Texas Star Party is a Texas Non-profit Corporation, and an IRS 501(c)(3) organization, for educational and scientific purposes. It is cosponsored by the Southwest Region of the Astronomical League, a national confederation of Astronomy societies and clubs. This is the 23rd year of operation for TSP, and it has an established reputation as being one of the leading observers conference in the world.
We recommend that educators allow children to experience the Texas Star Party firsthand by providing an excused-absence from their local school. TSP will provide an excellent opportunity for children to get excited about science and science education.
The Texas Star Party staff
A Letter from McDonald Observatory, March 31, 1997
Mr. George Ellis, Co-Founder Texas Star Party Youth-Outreach Committee P.O. Box 2339 McKinney, Texas 75069 Dear Mr. Ellis:
On behalf of McDonald Observatory, I am happy to endorse the Texas Star Party as a very valuable extra-curricular educational event. I understand that you intend to assemble an information packet which includes specific information on the educational value of the TSP.
Our experience is that many young people who later become scientists, engineers, technicians, etc. very often begin their interest in a technical career by becoming interested in astronomy. Astronomy is accessible. The astronomers connected with the Texas Star Party are absolutely first rate, they share the usual astronomers’ zeal about astronomy, and they love to communicate the wonders of the universe to young people.
I endorse the Texas Star Party and its educational efforts wholeheartedly.
Frank N. Bash
Director, McDonald Observatory
The University of Texas
TSP Prominent in PBS Series, “Mysteries of Deep Space”:
The Texas Star Party is shown in the 3-part PBS series, “Mysteries of Deep Space”. A strong case is made for educators to see the educational value of the Texas Star Party, and we recommend viewing this program, especially Part 1.