Explore Alliance - Global Star Party

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Explore Scientific's Explore Alliance is honored to present the Global Star Party (GSP), where you can participate in a global live simulcast that is held weekly with astronomers and lovers of the night sky from around the world!

About the Global Star Party

Star Parties are gatherings of astronomers and interested casual stargazers to share their love of the sky and to learn about star gazing equipment and techniques for visual observing and astrophotography from each other. Typically in dark, remote locations, star parties usually happen during the dark of the moon, sometimes lasting for a few days. At large events, special lectures are often given, sometimes recognition awards, maybe a "swap meet" to sell or trade used gear, and occasionally door prizes are given by manufacturers who may or may not be selling at the events.

But in order to have a star party event with people at different locations, they need a way to communicate with each other and share the experience in real-time. With the advent of video conferencing, live-streamed broadcasting, live chat from the audience across social media platforms, and simulcasting software and the possibility of screen sharing and remote control of telescopes, the concept of a virtual star party was born. Explore Scientific's Explore Alliance admins began experimentation with virtual star parties, successfully learning how to connect astronomers with a general audience, and quickly expanded globally. The Explore Alliance's "Virtual Star Party" is now called the "Global Star Party" (GSP) is held at least weekly. Announcements are made on explorescientific.com/live, through direct email, and in social media.

What started out as a simple idea to connect people under the sky that we all share during an era of social distancing under a global pandemic, the Explore Alliance has to date conducted successful global star party events. The GSP events are free for the entire family, to connect them with astronomers, scientists, and space artists in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Now with a global audience that is reaching into the hundreds of thousands, it is with the GSP and other similarly-conducted events that people with an Internet connection can see live views through telescopes, listen to special lectures about astronomy and space exploration from comet discoverers, planetary scientists, cutting-edge astrophotographers, and astronomical science journalists. Our youngest presenter is a young student with a passion for the stars, who is only ten years old.

How You Can Experience the GSP

The GSP is simulcast to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter social media sites where you can also chat live with the broadcaster from the Explore Alliance, who in-turn relays your questions and comments to the presenters. In addition, you can watch the live presentation on the home page of the CloudyNights.com forum and at ExploreScientific.com/live. Our door prizes are sponsored by the Astronomical League, and recognition awards are being sponsored by Explore Alliance and the AstronomyOutreach network. 

Featured Guests and How You Can Participate

We have featured guests that will be on the GSP live program for the duration of the broadcast, and we are inviting others to participate as a guest to be on the live simulcast to ask a question, to make a request to image a particular object, to sell your used astronomy gear, or to make a short five-minute "Open Mic" presentation. In this way, we can allow the audience to experience more of what the amateur astronomy community has to offer. 

To participate, you need to "purchase" a free invite by completing the no-charge purchase on this page. You need to be be prepared with a strong Internet connection, a ZOOM account, and a SKYPE account, a webcam, a microphone, and headphones or speakers. It helps if you practice with a friend before entering our "Explore Alliance GSP Waiting Room" where a representative will do setup, audio, and video checks on a first-come, first-serve basis. If all is good to go, then you will receive a private message with credentials to enter the live broadcast stream's waiting room. To learn how to use ZOOM, check out this video. To learn how to use SKYPE, check out this video

Optimize Your Setup for Broadcast

While there is no guarantee that if you enter our Explore Alliance GSP waiting Room on ZOOM that you will be picked for the live broadcast, your chances are better if you enter early. Your odds also increase if you have good enough lighting to see you and what you are presenting for the live broadcast. In our star parties, we have astrophotographers who share the rigs and then share their screen to show what they are imaging, we have visual astronomers who talk about what their astronomy experience is like, we have space artists who show their art, we have astronomers reciting poetry. Other presentations are also allowed such as live music or a short talk about astronomy or the cosmos. Your presentation as a guest for the "Open Mic" is limited to five minutes.

The Legal Stuff

By participating as a guest you are granting Explore Scientific, and the Explore Alliance the right to use the live and recorded image(s), likeness, voice(s), and anything that you are presenting during the show in their marketing programs, forever, and everywhere. In effect, the on-air portion that you participate in becomes the copyrighted property of Explore Scientific. Copying and/or re-broadcasting is specifically prohibited without approval in writing from Explore Scientific. 

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed on "Explore Alliance Live" are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Explore Scientific or its affiliates. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

Note that the GSP broadcast is intended for the entire family. It is suggested that children who are watching the program be under the supervision of an adult. Children under 18 years of age who wish to go on the live broadcast can only go on with an adult. 

What is Not Allowed on the GSP

  • No Profanity
  • No Presentations that have Political or Religious Themes
  • No Selling or Self-Promotion of Any Kind Without Explicit Prior Approval from Explore Scientific
  • No Sharing of Copyrighted Materials Unless you are the Original Creator and Hold the Copyright(s)

*Violating these rules may result in being reported, being pulled from the broadcast, and blocked from the chat stream. Additional rules may apply that you can read in the downloaded document with your login credentials.