Cancelled Event: Cade's Cove Star Party (Tentative Option) - Saturday, November 5, 2022 #cal-cancelled

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Cancelled: Cade's Cove Star Party (Tentative Option)

This event has been cancelled.

Saturday, November 5, 2022
5:00pm to 10:00pm
(UTC-04:00) America/New York

Cade's Cove, GSMNP

Organizer: James Cantiu james.cantu@... 865-405-2492


Cades Cove Star Party Plan

Saturday, November 5, 2022 (no backup date, but potential Spring event)


Please understand the park is trying to not get overwhelmed. 

See notes below on parking, communications, and marketing.



The Cades Cove Star Party has not occurred in several years. Scheduling this year has been challenging for several reasons due to volunteer limitations, calendar/conflict limitations, and even GSMNP ranger staffing limitations. This fall we only have one date fully feasible (Nov 5th). This will be only a few days before the new moon, so DSOs will be limited unless they are bright and contrasty. Many have encouraged us to do the best we can and realize that the public can and will be quite amazed by lunar and planetary opportunities. We can promote near events (such as the Nov 8th lunar eclipse), equipment, and other learning opportunities. Please note we may be competing with the Georgia/Tennessee football game (@ GA 3:30PM- ~7:30PM Eastern) for attention, and that game will likely draw a huge audience. 


We have no idea what attendance will be, but volunteers are likely to be fewer than some of our previous years. In short, I am confident that we can provide a great experience for those that join us, and I’ve been encouraged by the enthusiasm of those prepared/preparing to participate. 


Some changes: We anticipate keeping this event as simple as possible. We will not have the traditional potluck. Perhaps at a future date, but for now, as we are re-emerging, let’s keep it simple. If you wish to bring a meal/snacks, bring whatever you can for yourself, but we are unlikely to setup a shared banquet area for food. In terms of health and hygiene, masking is at the discretion of the individual. Please take whatever precautions are appropriate for you.  


Potential objects for viewing

·      Moon

·      Planets

o   Jupiter 

o   Saturn 

o   Uranus (too low) 

o   Neptune (near Jupiter; west of Jupiter, but would probably require an ephemeris to locate)

·      Bright Globular Clusters

·      Open clusters

·      Asterisms

·      Andromeda Galaxy? (Possibly unlikely due to moon)

Other things

·      Naked eye objects/targets

o   Constellations

o   Large Asterisms

o   Cherokee Sky Lore

·      Lunar eclipse November 8th

·      Equipment (different types: binos, scopes, lasers, finders, etc.)

·      Satellites

·      Artemis Launch November 14th

·      Talking about light pollution. Pointing out Gatlinburg or other nearby sources and how they affect the horizon. Methods to minimize.

·      The GSMNP does not systematically talk about light pollution. It may come up incidentally with some programs. 


Timing (confirmed)

·      5:00 meet in parking lot. 

·      5:15/5:30 line up and drive to field under ranger escort ~0.25-0.33 miles.  

·      Rangers to be at the parking lot Orientation Shelter around 5:30 to greet guests. 

·      Sunset ~6:36p. Gates will close. Vehicle traffic prohibited at this point. 

·      The public guests may be allowed to walk down (after gates close). The park does not think it practical to hold them. It could allow for a trickle in effect, rather than en masse. 

·      ~7ish Introductory Talk 

o   The hobby

o   Club(s) info

o   Activities etc.

o   Talk about equipment especially while still light outside. 

o   Upcoming Astro events (such as the lunar eclipse);

o   what to expect tonight

o   Other aspects of being out in the Cove. Perhaps encourage visitors to recognize other aspects of the night (sounds, critters, etc.) Rangers may be able to offer some words.  

·      Astronomical Twilight ~8p but still near full moon. 

·      Target for 10p ending. Usually, optics dewing and a thinning crowd dictates this, but the GSMNP recommends this as a target.  


Volunteers (final list TBD)

·      Ed Gorney? (potential Sasquatch operator)

·      MC Duties James/Lee/Dave (PA equipment to be provided by the Park).

o   Talk about Sasquatch

o   Club(s)/activities/astronomy basics, etc.

o   Cherokee Sky Lore: 

§  “Where the Dog Ran” 

§  Seven Sisters Story?

·      Ayaka & Alex: SCT 6 and Binoculars

·      Dave Wells: Orion Refractor 80mm GEM (Dave would appreciate some help preparing/learning)

·      Bryan Ross: Various refractors 130mm 92mm

·      Robert Ogle: Needs a ride. Dob. 

·      Duane Dunlap: SCT 9.25”

·      James Cantu (when not MCing) 10” Dob and 15x70 tripod mount binos.

·      Others (unconfirmed)? 

o   Ricky (KO)?

o   Djerdj (KO)?

o   Girl Scout Leader Sarah Shepherd perhaps?

o   ORION: invitation open (David Fields, DR Fudge, Noah Friere)


Safety Security and Park Considerations

  • ·      Two law enforcement rangers will be present. 
  • ·      We do not anticipate problems. If something arises alert a SMAS officer or Ranger. 
  • ·      The park is taking parking and overloading of parking lots more seriously. The park has limited parking. ~couple hundred parking spots among all lots
  • ·      They would like for this to be a successful event without overloading the park. 
  • Cars will be parked prior to sundown; and cannot be moved until all are prepared to leave under ranger escort.

Marketing and Communications

  • ·      Promotion will be purposely limited and managed! Please do not contact the media or promote this outside of agreed terms. The Park will not post this to social media; they have nearly a million followers. We may ask for some post event promotion however. 
  • ·      The GA/TN game may restrict attendance. Game time is anticipated from 3:30p-~7:30p in GA. 
  • ·      After agreeing on promotion language, we will post to our Facebook page 900+ followers. Social media will be what it is, but we will ensure that the park’s needs are met. Please remember we anticipate being invited back for a spring event. We would rather have a smooth smaller event than a stressful one.
  • ·      The event was not originally on the park calendar, but it will be added. 

·      James will make a FB post after conferring with our contact. 

·      I will work with the officers to prepare materials for passing out. 

Weather, Conditions, Cancellations

The SMAS executive council will make a weather/conditions determination when we feel we have the best information available. I will ask for phone numbers from all volunteers to communicate cancellations if necessary.