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Join us near Death Valley for two nights of camping, stargazing, and the peak of the Quadrantids Meteor Shower!
32 backers pledged $4,616 to help bring this project to life.

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$4,616

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Better than a Stretch Goal! Now also automatically included:

  • Astronomy Lectures from Professor Jessica Werk from the University of Washington
  • Nighttime photography tutorial and tips from professional photographer Chris Ewen Crosby
  • Sponsorship by Meade Instruments and SHIFTPOD which will help offer some extra cool experiences to be determined

And we are working on adding more as well!

The Project:

Camp with us near Death Valley on the nights of January 3rd & 4th, 2020, for the Quadrantids Meteor Shower -- a shower producing up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak!

Enjoy the dark skies... bring your camera and photograph the sky if you want... ask for tips and you shall receive... telescope viewing through the amazing 14" Meade LX850... cool places to explore during the day... and more!

For two nights (Friday January 3rd, and Saturday January 4th, 2020) we'll gather at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp just west of the Death Valley National Park boundary near the ghost town of Ballarat, CA, for stargazing with a huge 14" Meade LX850 telescope courtesy of the Eastern Sierra Observatory, as well as to enjoy the peak of the Quadrantids Meteor Shower!

The amazing 14" Meade LX850
The amazing 14" Meade LX850

We'll provide the land (80 acres of private property in Panamint Valley), porta-potties, a central shade structure, and the huge 14" Meade LX850 telescope. You bring your own car-camping supplies from there -- tent, sleeping bags/pads, water, food, etc., etc... all the typical car-camping supplies you'll need for the weekend. Bring your cameras and telescopes as well if you want!

The Death Valley Stargazing Camp is located about 3.5 miles of Ballarat, CA on Indian Ranch Road, which is a county maintained dirt road that is suitable for any vehicle to drive on. Click here to see the location on a Google Map.

The average temperatures in early January are daytime highs around 60 degrees, and overnight lows in the low 30s. Even on the "cloudiest" day of the year here on average - February 21st - there is still a 60% chance of it being clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy. This is to say that on any given day - even during winter - the chance for clear skies is favorable. Expect these conditions, but of course come prepared for rain or wind just in case.

To Summarize:

What: Quadrantids Meteor Shower Camping Party at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp

When: The nights of January 3rd & 4th, 2020 (Arrive anytime after noon on January 3rd, and check out by noon on January 5th.

Where: Death Valley Stargazing Camp is located 3.5 north of Ballarat, CA on Indian Ranch Road. (Google Map Here)

The Quadrantids are thought to be produced by dust grains left behind by an extinct comet known as 2003 EH1, which was discovered in 2003. The shower runs annually from January 1-5. It peaks in 2020 on the night of the 3rd and morning of the 4th. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving fairly dark skies for what should be a good show. The best viewing will be after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but of course can appear from anywhere in the sky.

The Area:

The colorful Panamint Range separates Panamint Valley from Death Valley
The colorful Panamint Range separates Panamint Valley from Death Valley

Panamint Valley is directly west of Death Valley and the Death Valley Stargazing Camp is located just outside of the National Park boundary. There are many things to do in the area, including countless canyons to hike and explore, Death Valley itself of course, Panamint Springs Resort up the road, the ghost town of Ballarat, the amazing Trona Pinnacles, and so much more! You'll have no problem finding an adventure during the day, and since the days are short this time of year, we'll enjoy some very long nights during the meteor shower.

Some more pictures of the area...

The ghost town of Ballarat is just down the road
The ghost town of Ballarat is just down the road
Panamint Valley is vast and largely untouched
Panamint Valley is vast and largely untouched
The sunsets rarely disappoint
The sunsets rarely disappoint
Death Valley Stargazing Camp sits on 80 acres of pristine desert land
Death Valley Stargazing Camp sits on 80 acres of pristine desert land
The Trona Pinnacles are a scenic 45-60 minute drive
The Trona Pinnacles are a scenic 45-60 minute drive

Your Contribution:

Your contribution will goes towards payment for the porta-potties, shade structure upgrades, and the land in general.


Rewards:

Postcards - We'll slap a stamp on a commemorative postcard and send it your way sometime in February 2020. If you'd rather have it sent to you in an envelope so you can send it to someone else or keep it untouched, we can do that too!

Prints - You'll be able to select from any images we capture during that weekend or anything we have listed at DarkSkyPhotography.com. Delivery is in February 2020.

Join Us! - Hopefully you can join us for this event! All participants also get a commemorative postcard as well as access to the digital prints! If you have any questions please ask. Please note that the limits on each category is the only way to control the head count on Kickstarter so that we don't get too crowded. More availability might be created for a certain category as this project moves along if needed.


Our Previous Work:

Here are some images from our seven previously successful Kickstarter projects:

Muir Hut along the John Muir Trail
Muir Hut along the John Muir Trail
Point Sublime in the Grand Canyon
Point Sublime in the Grand Canyon
Duck Lake near Mammoth
Duck Lake near Mammoth
The Racetrack Playa in Death Valley
The Racetrack Playa in Death Valley
The Orion Nebula
The Orion Nebula
The Pleiades
The Pleiades
The 130 year old Great Lick Refractor
The 130 year old Great Lick Refractor
Jupiter and its moons captured with the 130 year old Great Lick Refractor
Jupiter and its moons captured with the 130 year old Great Lick Refractor
Crater Lake
Crater Lake
The Trifid Nebula
The Trifid Nebula
The moon passes in front of the Sun during an annual solar eclipse
The moon passes in front of the Sun during an annual solar eclipse

Risks and challenges

The main possible challenge is weather. but even on the "cloudiest" day of the year here on average - February 21st - there is still a 60% chance of it being clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy. So, hopefully this won't be an issue, although it is something we must all risk as amenities such as porta-potties have to be paid for in advance. At the very least, though, if the event doesn't work out due to weather, then we can offer each party two free future nights of camping at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp (these future nights would be unhosted and without the 14" LX850 telescope).

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Postcard

    We'll mail you a commemorative postcard from the party.

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    Digital Prints

    Get digital prints of the pics we capture from the weekend.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    8x12 inch print of your choice

    Get an 8x12 inch print of your choice from the pics we capture during the meteor shower party or choose any image from our website DarkSkyPhotography.com ***Add $45 to upgrade to a metal infused print with floating wall hanger.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    12x18 inch print of your choice

    Get a 12x18 inch print of your choice from the pics we capture during the meteor shower party or choose any image from our website DarkSkyPhotography.com ***Add $75 to upgrade to a metal infused print with floating wall hanger.

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    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    EARLY BIRD: Admit One

    Admit ONE to join us and camp under the stars and the Quadrantids meteor shower on the nights of January 3rd and 4th, 2020, at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp just west of the National Park boundary near Ballarat, CA. You provide your own camping gear and food, water, etc. We provide the land, a huge 14" Meade LX850 telescope for viewing the cosmos, porta-potties, a central shade structure, dark skies, and a starry atmosphere.

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    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    Admit One

    Admit ONE to join us and camp under the stars and the Quadrantids meteor shower on the nights of January 3rd and 4th, 2020, at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp just west of the National Park boundary near Ballarat, CA. You provide your own camping gear and food, water, etc. We provide the land, a huge 14" Meade LX850 telescope for viewing the cosmos, porta-potties, a central shade structure, dark skies, and a starry atmosphere.

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    EARLY BIRD: Admit TWO

    Admit TWO to join us and camp under the stars and the Quadrantids meteor shower on the nights of January 3rd and 4th, 2020, at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp just west of the National Park boundary near Ballarat, CA. You provide your own camping gear and food, water, etc. We provide the land, a huge 14" Meade LX850 telescope for viewing the cosmos, porta-potties, a central shade structure, dark skies, and a starry atmosphere.

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    Limited 9 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $230 or more About $230

    Admit TWO

    Admit TWO to join us and camp under the stars and the Quadrantids meteor shower on the nights of January 3rd and 4th, 2020, at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp just west of the National Park boundary near Ballarat, CA. You provide your own camping gear and food, water, etc. We provide the land, a huge 14" Meade LX850 telescope for viewing the cosmos, porta-potties, a central shade structure, dark skies, and a starry atmosphere.

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    EARLY BIRD: Admit a FAMILY

    Admit TWO adults and TWO children to join us and camp under the stars and the Quadrantids meteor shower on the nights of January 3rd and 4th, 2020, at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp just west of the National Park boundary near Ballarat, CA. You provide your own camping gear and food, water, etc. We provide the land, a huge 14" Meade LX850 telescope for viewing the cosmos, porta-potties, a central shade structure, dark skies, and a starry atmosphere.

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    Limited 0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    Admit a FAMILY

    Admit TWO adults and TWO children to join us and camp under the stars and the Quadrantids meteor shower on the nights of January 3rd and 4th, 2020, at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp just west of the National Park boundary near Ballarat, CA. You provide your own camping gear and food, water, etc. We provide the land, a huge 14" Meade LX850 telescope for viewing the cosmos, porta-potties, a central shade structure, dark skies, and a starry atmosphere.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    SHIFTPOD Accommodations

    Admit up to TWO adults and TWO children to join us and camp under the stars and the Quadrantids meteor shower on January 3rd and 4th, 2020, at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp just west of the park boundary near Ballarat, CA. You'll stay in a SHIFTPOD outfitted with two memory foam cots with bedding for the adults -- you just have to bring sleeping pads/bags/pillows for the kids. We also provide a huge 14" Meade LX850 telescope for viewing the cosmos, porta-potties, a central shade structure, dark skies, and a starry atmosphere.

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Funding period

- (30 days)