February 20, 2020

Astro-Vid Of the Week: the Virtual Star Party

Jupiter +Europa (arrowed) from last night’s VSP.

(Photo by Author).


Looking for a good reason to join Google+?

We’ll give you a universe full of reasons with the Virtual Star Party. Hosted by the Universe Today’s Fraser Cain, the Virtual Star Party links up telescopes from all over the world every Sunday night to broadcast images of celestial objects over Google+ and YouTube. You can expect to see anything from nebulae to galaxies to planets and more. And they take requests!

Now finishing up its second year, The Virtual Star Party is the longest running live event on Google+. And there’s lots of shows in the back-catalog to catch online:

We’ve been a frequent contributor of both imagery and commentary for just over a year now. And last night’s event (see above) featured a full house, with astronomers both amateur and professional from worldwide! A stunning animation of Jupiter by Michael Phillips was featured, as was a daytime view of Venus provided by Shahrin Ahmad based in Malaysia and views of the tempestuous Sun by New Zealand-based observer Paul Stewart. We brought Jupiter near opposition and the waxing crescent Moon to the show with our very modest rig. Astronomers love to talk tech, and the Virtual Star Party is a great place to learn about scopes, gear, cameras and more. Tips and techniques are often discussed with listeners, as folks navigate the world that is astrophotography and observational astronomy. Hey, we’ve all been there before…

Be sure to check out the Virtual Star Party every Sunday night starting at 9PM EST/2AM UT… it’s the show that maybe you’re not watching, but should be!


  1. [...] Of course, this all comes at a time that relationships between the United States and Russia have chilled as a result of the Ukraine/Crimea crisis, but thankfully, this hasn’t impacted space station operations, or at least not yet. Soyuz currently stands as the only vehicle able to get humans to and from the International Space Station, and that looks to be the case for some time to come, until either SpaceX’s Dragon capsule or NASA’s Orion spacecraft is rated for manned flight. And speaking of SpaceX, the company’s Falcon 9 rocket is now set to launch off of the Florida Space Coast this coming Sunday on March 30th, just minutes before the start of the Virtual Star Party! [...]

  2. [...] about with what to do with this here blog if we park in Maine for and extended time… bring back Astronomy Video of the Week? More observing stuff? Book reviews? Free sci-fi reads? Let us know what you’d like to see in 2015 [...]

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