Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield’s popular Friday Night Star Parties will be held in a virtual format this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants can watch the virtual star parties on Zoom from 8-9 p.m. on Sept. 10, 17, and 24 and Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. The Zoom link will be posted at

Friday Night Star Parties are hosted by John Martin, UIS associate professor of astronomy/physics. Each event will feature tips on how to find constellations and planets in the night sky and offer time to ask live questions. When the weather allows, the observatory’s telescopes will be used to provide live remote views of a number of celestial objects, including the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the Moon, the Ring Nebula, globular star clusters M13 and M15 and other double stars and star clusters.

Friday Night Star Parties are free and open to the public. Due to the virtual format, the star parties will be held regardless of the weather conditions. When the weather is good, Martin will share live looks at the sky and through the observatory telescopes.

Questions about Friday Night Star Parties should be directed to 217-206-8342, or direct messaged to the @UISObservatory on Twitter. For more information on star parties, follow the Observatory on Twitter or visit

News Categories