East Coast Star Party


Video background was created by Melvin Sprull

A time lapse video taken on last night/day of the Fall 2023 ECSP at Chippokes. The video was filmed on September 16-17, 2022 at the Chippokes State Park, Virginia.


  • Melvin M Spruill



Thursday, May 9 - Sunday, May 12

Welcome to the home page of the East Coast Star Party (ECSP), formerly hosted by BBAA member Kent Blackwell at Hampton Lodge Campground in Coinjock, North Carolina. The campground where the star party took place in North Carolina was sold, so BBAA members found a new location at Chippokes State Park in Surry, VA. As in the past, the party will run from Thursday through Sunday morning. The BBAA will host a Saturday afternoon cookout. We will provide hot dogs, hamburgers and soft drinks. In the past many attendees added their own dishes, and that tradition is being encouraged again. The event usually turns into a grand pot luck feast. All are welcome to attend. We look forward to slowly ramping up activities as the star party progresses.

The ECSP is NOT weather dependent and is held rain or shine.


Friday, May 10, 2024 from 6PM - 10PM

The Back Bay Amateur Astronomers and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Resources at Chippokes State Park encourage the public to attend on Friday, May 10, 2024 from 6-10pm during the East Coast Star Party. BBAA members will use their telescopes to share the night time sky with park visitors. Please feel free to ask questions and look through the telescopes during this public outreach event.

*Please note that sunset is at 8:02pm and it will be at least thirty more minutes after sunset before the club members will be able to show the dimmer objects in the night sky. Club members will be able to show safe views of the Sun and the Moon will be visible during the daylights hours.

This public star party event is weather dependent. If the weather doesn't cooperate then BBAA members will cancel this event on Facebook and on our official calendar.

We all want to have a great time at the star party. Please follow these simple rules that keep things fun for everybody.

Photos from past ECSP

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Kent Blackwell at the spring 2018 ECSP - Credit: Shawn Loescher
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2003 ECSP - Credit: Kent Blackwell
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2014 ECSP - Credit: Kent Blackwell
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2014 ECSP - Credit: Chuck Jagow
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2014 ECSP - Credit: Chuck Jagow
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2018 Dee and Roy - Credit: Chuck Jagow
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Georgie June - Credit: Chuck Jagow
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2014 ECSP - Credit: Leigh Anne Lagoe
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Kent at the 2023 ECSP - Credit: Shawn Loescher
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Jeff Thorton during the public night at the 2023 ECSP - Credit: Shawn Loescher
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Raffle time at the 2023 ECSP - Credit: Shawn Loescher
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Jupiter above a silo at 2023 ECSP - Credit: Kent Blackwell & Shawn Loescher