"Pillaging the Universe One Star at a Time"


The 2016 Fall Bootleg Star Party is in the history books!  Thank you to everyone who attended our events this year!    


Next year's Bootleg Star Parties will be held on 

May 18th-21st  and.....

 September 21st-24th 


CLICK HERE for a copy of the 2016 Fall Bootleg Star Party Registration Form

Pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, September 20th. 

All forms must be postmarked no later than September 20th to qualify for early registration.

Map and Directions here...

PDFs require free Adobe Reader 



Bootleg 2016 Pictures and videos

Bootleg 2015 Pictures

Bootleg 2014 Pictures

Bootleg 2013 Pictures

Bootleg 2012 Pictures

Bootleg 2011 Pictures

Bootleg 2010 Pictures

Bootleg 2008 Pictures

Bootleg 2007 Pictures

2008 Prairie Skies Star Party Pictures 

CAS Astrofest @ Camp Shaw

CAS Astrofest @ Vana's

Texas Star Party 2009

<<< PSSP home page

CAS Web Site 

SWAOG Web Site 

Jeff's Driveway Astronomy Page

Jeff's Binocular Picks

Free Sky Map from Skymaps.com

PDFs require free Adobe Reader 

Wisconsin Astronomy


Visit the . . .     Bootleg Optics Swap Page 


page updated 12/1/2016



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Upcoming Observing Highlights for December 2016   (from skymaps.com)
1 Moon near Mercury (18 from Sun, evening sky) at 5h UT. Mag. -0.5.
3 Moon near Venus (44 from Sun, evening sky) at 11h UT. Mag. -4.2.
Crescent Moon and Venus (APOD)
5 Moon near Mars (66 from Sun) at 9h UT. Mag. +0.7.
7 First Quarter Moon at 9:03 UT.
11 Mercury at greatest elongation east (21 from Sun, evening sky) at 4h UT. Mag. -0.4.
12 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 13h UT.
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
12 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 23:27 UT (358,461 km; angular size 33.3').
13 Moon very near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 3h UT. Occultation visible from USA, Mexico and Canada.
Occultation of Aldebaran (IOTA)
14 Full Moon at 00:06 UT.
14 Geminid Meteor Shower peaks at 17h UT. Major activity lasts 22 hours. Produces bright, medium-speed meteors at its peak (up to 80 meteors/hour). Most reliable meteor shower. Easy to observe (radiant shown on sky map). Best seen after midnight, but moonlight interferes badly in 2016.
Observing the Geminids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar (IMO)
15 Moon near Castor (morning sky) at 23h UT.
16 Moon near Pollux (morning sky) at 3h UT.
17 Moon near Beehive cluster (morning sky) at 3h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
18 Moon very near Regulus (morning sky) at 17h UT. Occultation visible from southwest Australia.
Occultation of Regulus (IOTA)
21 Last Quarter Moon at 1:56 UT.
21 December solstice at 10:44 UT. The time when the Sun reaches the point farthest south of the celestial equator marking the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
December Solstice (Wikipedia)
22 Moon near Jupiter (morning sky) at 18h UT. Mag. -1.9.
23 Moon near Spica (morning sky) at 2h UT.
25 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 6h UT (distance 405,870 km; angular size 29.4').
27 Moon near Saturn (16 from Sun, morning sky) at 21h UT. Mag. +0.5.
28 Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 19h UT. Mercury passes into the morning sky.
29 New Moon at 6:53 UT. Start of lunation 1163.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
>>> All times Universal Time (UT).    USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours.  (DST = UT-5 hrs,)


Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)