Last chance to join our 2020 Costa Rica Star Party!

Posted by Jake Parks
on Friday, January 10, 2020

Join Astronomy magazine on a trip to Costa Rica you'll never forget. And this year, we are bringing along an Explore Scientific 16-inch Dobsonian telescope, which will help reveal stunning views of the Carina Nebula, Omega Centauri, and dozens more cosmic wonders. // Yuri Beletsky

By David J. Eicher

I invite you to join me on one of the greatest adventures you’ll have as an astronomy enthusiast — viewing the treasures of the Southern Hemisphere sky from the pristine beauty of Costa Rica.

This year we are honored to be bringing along an Explore Scientific 16-inch Dobsonian telescope that will provide jaw-dropping views of the Carina Nebula, Omega Centauri, star clusters in Crux and Centaurus, distant nebulae and galaxies, and dozens of other wonders. You’ll see them from a dark sky like never before, and I will be delivering several talks on finding and identifying the gems of the southern sky, which the great astronomer Bart Bok declared unmatched by the north.

What else should attract you to Costa Rica? The same reasons travelers from around the globe journey to this Central American paradise: the inviting tropical climate, spectacular natural scenery, abundant wildlife and friendly, hospitable people.

Join us as we carry on a great tradition: our 17th annual Costa Rica Southern Sky Party, February 23 – March 1, 2020, comfortably based at our private Star Lodge and National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf of Nicoya.

A Perfect Southern Vantage Point

Our Costa Rica adventure is timed to coincide with both the new Moon and the driest time of year in the western part of the country. This should ensure the greatest possible number of clear, star-filled nights – on a grassy open area of the lodge property that offers unobstructed views of the southern horizon.

At 10° N, our Costa Rican viewing site is 15° farther south than the Florida Keys and even more southerly – by 10° – than the Big Island of Hawaii. Many astronomical highlights that hug the horizon in these popular stargazing locales are 10° to 15° higher in Costa Rica’s southern sky.

A Birder’s Paradise

Each morning and afternoon of our stay, our licensed Costa Rican Naturalist Guide will expertly lead you in and around the 800 acre Star Lodge plantation, as well as the nearby mangrove, where you will have the opportunity to spot up to 100 species of North Pacific dry forest birds.  Our guide will masterfully locate otherwise-missed species in veiled dwellings, keenly spot those in flight, and identify likely occupied habitats around the wildlife refuge. From Tricolored Herons to the ever-popular Turquoise-browed Motmot, you will not be disappointed by the medley of chroma and tuneful singing.

Attractively Close to Home

Costa Rica is also a wonderfully accessible destination. Just a 2.5-hour flight from Miami, it’s in the Central time zone, so there’s no grueling flight to endure and no tiresome jet lag to get over before you begin enjoying yourself.

All of our comfortable cabinas face the Gulf, with a bathroom, hot water, closet and spacious terrace inclusive of a hammock, which all ensure a relaxed, carefree stay – right down to the convenience of North American standard AC power (120 volts, 60 Hz) in your room, so you never have to worry about keeping your gear charged.

A tropical climate, excellent southern-sky views, great accommodations and the company of easygoing, like-minded travelers – what more could you ask of an astronomical adventure that’s remarkably close to home?

For complete details and bookings, see:

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