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***NOTICE: The JMU Public Star Parties have returned on Thursday evenings for the 2023-2024 school year at the JMU Astronomy Park. The Spring Semester Star Party dates and times are listed below. The public is cordially invited.***

A JMU Star Party is the public's opportunity to come on campus, look through our telescopes, and perhaps see craters on the Moon, the bands and moons of Jupiter, Saturn's rings, galaxies, stellar explosions, binary stars and much more!

Physics and Astronomy Department staff and students will be on hand to answer your questions and provide impromptu live, star talks highlighting the Valley sky! While our skies are light-polluted, we will show you objects through our telescope that you cannot see with the unaided eye.

Star parties will be held throughout the JMU academic school year, unless otherwise noted below, from September to the end of April, at JMU's Astronomy Park located in the meadow behind the Physics and Astronomy Building on the JMU campus east of Interstate 81. Telescopes will be set-up and available for visitors to use according to the schedule below. If it is raining or cloudy the star party will be cancelled, please come to the next one scheduled.

Star Party Dates Spring 2024

February 1, 2024 6:30-8:00 pm

February 15, 2024 7:00-8:30 pm

February 29, 2024 7:00-8:30 pm

March 21, 2024 8:30-10:00 pm

April 4, 2024 8:30-10:00 pm

April 18, 2024 8:30-10:00 pm

Notice of Postponements

If an event must be postponed due to weather, a notice will be posted by 6 p.m. the day of the event on the JCW Planetarium Homepage and on Facebook

Physics and Chemistry Building Address

901 Carrier Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Map of astronomy park location
Getting Here
  • From Interstate 81, take exit 245 for Port Republic Road toward VA-253 (This is a right off the exit if on I-81 south and a left off the exit if traveling on I-81 north).
  • Go along Port Republic Road to the first stop light just past the exit and take a right onto Bluestone Drive. There is a right turn lane into the university.
  • Follow along Bluestone Drive for approximately 0.5 miles until reaching Carrier Drive. Turn right onto Carrier Drive.
  • The entrance to the D-2 parking lot is on the left off Carrier Drive, shortly after crossing the bridge over the interstate. The Physics & Chemistry Building will be on the right side of the road, across the street from the D-2 parking lot.

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