2021 Flagstaff Star Party and Celebration of the Night

Flagstaff Celebrates it’s Star-Filled Night Skies

The 2021 Flagstaff Star Party and Celebration of the Night brought six weeks of exciting and awe-inspiring events showcasing Flagstaff’s beautiful night skies!

For 2022 we have another exciting program planned, including the return of NightVisions VIII in late spring at the Coconino Center for the Arts, the premier of a new event Sips and Savors under the Stars at Arizona Nordic Center, and the return of the Flagstaff Star Party and Celebration of the Night in September and October 2022! Please stay tuned!

See our 2021 Sponsors

Protection of the night sky began in Flagstaff in 1958 – and Flagstaff continues to set the standard for effective night sky protection. A High Country News story by Peter Friederici – Stargazers defend darkness in Arizona – and David Portree’s award-winning story Flagstaff’s Battle for Dark Skies describe our special history and role in what is now an international dark-sky movement. This article is just one recent example showing what success looks like.

2021 Flagstaff Star Party and Celebration of the Night Events

(Events subject to change or cancellation – Outdoor events weather permitting)

Night Skies through Artists' EyesWhen: Throughout September and October
Where: Downtown Flagstaff
Be sure to visit the NightVisions Satellite exhibits at participating shops in Flagstaff

Arizona Handmade - 13 N San Francisco St Flagstaff - Every day 10-5
The Artists Gallery - 17 N San Francisco St Flagstaff - Mon-Sat 10-6 Sun 11-4

Going out on a limb to catch a star!
Flagstaff premier of 2021 Documentary
When: September 26, 5:00 PM
Where: LIVE On-line
When astronomy professor Larry Molnar stumbles across a strange star, he and his students embark on a dramatic journey of scientific discovery that brings their unlikely team into the international spotlight.

Luminous tells the story of the first astronomer in history to publicly predict the near-future explosion of a star – if he’s right, 2022 will see the closest thing to a supernova in the skies of earth in 400 years, and every school kid in the northern hemisphere will know it. But the prediction is high risk. Others in the astronomical community are skeptical, and Larry’s professional reputation hangs in the balance. Luminous, a feature documentary by award-winning filmmaker Sam Smartt (Wagonmasters), follows Larry’s journey to test his unprecedented prediction, knowing that its success or failure will unfold squarely in the international spotlight.

(To register you will need to enter your email address to watch the 90min film.)

PLEASE READ: the button below will take you to a video sharing website. At 5PM MST that website will have a button to run Luminous (If you don't see it try refreshing the page after 5 PM), and a tab that you should click on after the film concludes to go to a Zoom meeting where you may participate in a Q & A with the director Sam Smartt.

LIVE telescope viewing with Lowell Observatory
When: 28 Sept 8:00 - 9:00 PM
live (weather permitting)
Where: LIVE Online
Exploring the night sky and the influences of Arabian culture on astronomy
Spend an hour at the telescope with astronomer/musician Dr. David Koerner and Lowell Observatory Deputy Director/cultural astronomer Dr. Danielle Adams guiding you through beautiful and awe-inspiring views of the wonders of Flagstaff's beautiful night skies, including constellations, sparkling stars, nebulae, clusters and galaxies. Hosted in collaboration with Flagstaff Star Party partner Lowell Observatory, using their cutting-edge telescopes at the Giovale Open Deck Observatory just above downtown Flagstaff.

Night Sky Photography Workshop
When: 29 Sept 5:30-8:30PM
Where: Moonshot at NACET
Join photojournalist Stan Honda. This extraordinary opportunity will allow participants to learn how to photograph the night sky with a master. Honda will conduct a three-part workshop introducing basic techniques to capture beautiful night sky photos with modern digital cameras. The three-hour session will include learning about your camera, a short slideshow of Honda’s work, and (weather permitting) a photo shoot in the beautiful night skies at Buffalo Park. Facemasks required. RESERVATION REQUIRED
Telescope Workshop
When: 30 Sept 5:00-7:30PM
Where: Moonshot at NACET Parking Lot
Do you have a telescope at home collecting dust and it never seems to make it out of the closet? If your telescope fits this description and you have been struggling with learning how to use it then dust it off and bring it to this workshop!

Veteran astronomers From the Coconino Astronomical Society will coach you through setting it up, how to align it and find astronomical objects, what eyepieces work best for what objects, and all the rest, to demystify your telescope and help open the beauty of deep space to you and your family. RESERVATION REQUIRED
Thurs Sept 30 thru Sat Oct 2
THURSDAY September 30
Sunset Shadows and Circles
When: 30 Sept 6:00pm
Where: Buffalo Park
Have you ever watched the sunset in the east? Join Lowell Observatory's Brian Skiff as he takes you on insightful tour of the subtle transition from sunset into twilight at Flagstaff's Buffalo Park, including the Earth-shadow and Belt of Venus in the east, as well as layered pastel colors over the Sun in the west. Join Brian and watch shadows stretch to the eastern horizon!

See this preview from the 2020 Flagstaff Star Party

The Heiligenschein
Current Events on the Red Planet
When: 1 Oct 6:45pm
Where: Buffalo Park
Hear the latest Martian news (and see the latest spectacular views) from the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers in this talk presented by USGS Astrogeology scientist and member of the rover science teams Ryan Anderson.
Hosted Telescope Observing When: 30 Sept 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Where: Buffalo Park
FRIDAY October 1
Sunset Shadows and Circles (reprise)
When: 1 Oct 6:00pm
Where: Buffalo Park
Music of the Spheres – The Role of Harmony in Western Cultural Astronomy
When: 1 Oct 6:45pm
Where: Buffalo Park
Join David Koerner in an exploration of ways of seeing and hearing: Music and astronomy were linked in ancient times by followers of the Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras (circa 570-495 BC). They proposed that an inaudible music emanates from the orbits of the Sun, Moon, and planets and affects the quality of life on Earth. This idea persisted for over 2,000 years and influenced theoretical astronomers like Copernicus and Johannes Kepler at the birth of modern science. Newton speculated that this music was identical to the gravity of his new theory and, even today, the discovery of Gravitational Waves is often described poetically as “Music of the Cosmos.” This presentation explores the history of the relationship between music and the heavens from Classical Antiquity to the Present.
Hosted Telescope Observing When: 1 Oct 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Where: Buffalo Park
SATURDAY October 2
Night Music
When: 2 Oct 6:00pm
Where: Buffalo Park
Dark Sky String Quartet, violinists Allison O’Bryant and David Koerner, violist Kim Sullivan, and cellist Mary Anne Bruner, will perform works inspired by the night sky, including arrangements of Jupiter from The Planets by Gustav Holst and works by Grofe, Copland, and Debussy. The program will also include the Flagstaff premier of Immense Sky from the Sky Quartet by contemporary composer Jennifer Higdon. Audience members are invited to sit back and watch the universe unfold to this celestial music.
Hosted Telescope Observing When: 2 Oct 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Where: Buffalo Park
Night Walk
When: Sunday Oct 3 6:30pm Weather permitting
Where: Buffalo Park
Join Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition leaders for a socially-distanced open air Dark Skies walk over flat terrain in one of Flagstaff’s best night-sky locales. Enjoy a free-ranging conversation on night-sky topics, as well as quiet time for personal interaction with the night-sky. Free “Flagstaff Star Party” souvenir night vision friendly flashlights will be provided. Wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing. Facemasks required. RESERVATION REQUIRED
When: Saturday, 9 October, 6:00pm
Where: Coconino Center for the Arts
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show.
The Uncertainty Principle is no more evident than when we gaze upon the deep indigo vastness all around us. We drift among trillions of new worlds, stars, solar systems and galaxies, in every direction. Flowing like ocean currents. From where we came, and to where we’re going, no one really knows. This conundrum is our human condition. Who we are, is continually becoming.


HUMAN NATURE DANCE THEATRE is Jayne Lee and Paul Moore with Guest Artists Amanda Kapp, Frederica Hall, Rodrigo de Toledo, Pash Galbavy, and Sheree Newbould. In collaboration with Chris Luginbuhl and Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition.

COVID-19: Coconino Center for the Arts continues to adapt and update its protocols and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Effective September 1, 2021, all events, workshops, and gatherings whether public or private will be subject to the following protocols: patrons, venue staff, and performers must provide proof of vaccination OR a negative COVID-19 test result administered within 72 hours of event; masks are required for all individuals age 2-and-up. To view the complete policy, click here.






To celebrate, promote, and protect the glorious dark skies of Flagstaff and northern Arizona.