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How do I register and pay to attend?
All registration is handled through the registration page here enchantedskies.org/essp/registration.html. There will be a five night full registration, a two night weekend registration, and a Saturday night registration. You can pay online by PayPal OR credit card. Checks and cash will need to be mailed and received by October 12th.
What if I only want to attend on Saturday?
You can pre-register for Saturday online, or pay a CASH only payment (we are a little behind the times) of $10/adult will be collected at the gate which will be open from 1700-1900. You may camp overnight as well for the price of admission.
Where do the events take place?
The dark sky observing site, called "Star Village", is about 10-15 minute drive NW Magdalena, NM in the Cibola National Forest. GPS coordinates are N34.124224, W107.315520. It is recommended that you print out a map and driving directions before arriving since cell service is limited to Verizon, and can be spotty. Maps can be found here enchantedskies.org/essp/maps.html.
Can you tell me more about the observatory tours?
There will be an MRO and a VLA tour on Tuesday, and then again on Wednesday weather permitting. For the timeline of the tours please refer to the schedule here enchantedskies.org/essp/schedule.html.
The Magdalena Ridge Observatory tour notes are here enchantedskies.org/essp/mrotournotes.html.
Very Large Array tour notes are here enchantedskies.org/essp/vlatournotes.html.
How do I sign up for the tours?
If you have paid for the FULL registration you are elegible to attend one or both tours. Space is limited on the tours to the first 30 people for each day for each tour. Let us know how many ADULTS will be attending when you register for the star party.
Where do I stay?
For suggested accomodations in Magdalena the lodging list is here enchantedskies.org/essp/lodging.html. For those who want to RV or camp, dry camping at Star Village is another option.
Is transportation to ESSP events provided?
No. ESSP events take place in and around Socorro County from 10,000ft on top of Mt. Baldy, to the VLA on the Plains of San Augustine, to where ever you want to go. All ESSP participants must be prepared to drive their own vehicle. Car pooling for the tours is sometimes informally organized before leaving Star Village.
Is Power Available?
Power is not available.
Is Potable Water Available?
Potable water is not available at Star Village. Please bring your own!
Is food Available?
There will be box lunches to order Wednesday and Thursday, a pancake breakfast on Saturday, and a Cowboy Supper on Saturday. For the rest of the meals youwill need to forage.
For suggested resaurants and places that sell food in Magdalena the food list is at enchantedskies.org/essp/food.html.
What do I wear?
Layers, layers, layers, hats and gloves. The elevation at Star Village in Magdalena is near 7,000 feet above sea level. The average temperatures will be about a HIGH of about 60° Fahrenheit (15 Celsius) and LOW of 30° Fahrenheit (0 Celsius) -- normally. Be aware that The Magdalena Ridge Observatory is at 10,600 feet and will probably be well below freezing at night at this time of year if you go on that tour! Come prepared!
Do I need 4WD to get up the mountain or to Star Village?
No. Although the road from Water Canyon up to the ridge of South Baldy where the MRO observatory is located is unpaved, it is well maintained and standard passenger cars have made the trip without problems in the past. you must drive slowly and some vehicles have overheated because of they are not getting enough airflow. The road up to South Baldy is steep and winding. Please remember mountain driving etiquette. A few mountain driving tips can be found at enchantedskies.org/essp/mtdrivingtips.html
May I leave my equipment set up at my campsite and will it be safe?
You are responsible for your equipment. However, there will be hosts at Star Village at all times. No one has had any problem, but theives are sneaky.
What about restrooms?
Porta Potties will be available at Star Village.
Are showers available?
ESSP has arranged a room at the Magdalena Hall Hotel where ALL 5 DAY registrants can shower. You will need to bring your own towel and toiletries. Specific information will be given upon check-in at the Welcome Tent.
Are there any camera restrictions?
None, except no flashes after dark.
What else should I know before coming?
Bring a printed or electronic copy of your registration receipt for admittance. We may not be able to pull up the paperwork at Star Village, because there is generally no Internet access.
Please read the rules at enchantedskies.org/essp/rules.html.
For other things to do in the area see the attractions page at enchantedskies.org/essp/attractions.html.
What if I still have questions?
Just email us if it is not urgent, call if it is, and we will respond as fast as we can. Be aware that once the party starts we probably not have Internet access. See the contacts page for names and numbers at enchantedskies.org/essp/contact.html.
Why does your website not display correctly?
Our webmaster is a lazy slug? That notwithstanding, effort has been made to keep the code for this website (new in 2018) as simple as possible to prevent needing a lot of specialized code for each brand and version of browser. The site has been tested on recent versions of Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer. It should work back to IE11, but it will look a little funny on IE8. IE8 is just missing too much. It should also look decent on phones and tablets. Please make sure your browser is up to date. Let us know if something is really wrong and we'll flog the webmaster and get him to fix it.