for The Year 2000!

UPDATE 2000!
The January 1, 2000 SSSP Bulletin

Southern Skies Star Party 2000 Update:

We’d like to take the opportunity to update you on the details we’ve arranged at the 2000 event. We have been busy in the last few months and we hope you will enjoy what we have put together.

First, as many of you know, plans are under way to dedicate a 22” Starmaster Dobsonian telescope at the hotel’s observatory in the name of our late founder, Ken Willcox. We have to date, raised enough funds to place the deposit, so the scope is currently on order and under construction. This will complement the other 10” Dobsonian already on the site and be available for public use. If you wish to donate to this fund,
let us know.

We will again this year host a public observing night. In 1998, our group presented this event and with very little publicity we had almost 200 local Bolivian and Aymara visitors come to view. Our passenger list this year includes many more bilingual astronomers and their help will be very instrumental in this event. Assistant Director, Scott Mitchell has found a supply for small children’s telescope kits that volunteers will help the children put together to take home. We will know more about the similar planesphere giveaway project soon. We are still seeking assistance for translation of star names.

Also, to better organize and fund the Southern Skies Star Party, we are now hosting this event in it’s entirety, booking all of the ticketing and tour arrangements directly. This will allow us to communicate better with the hotel staff and keep closer communication with you. In this capacity, we can also see that any potential proceeds directly benefit the StarGarden not-for-profit Foundation and astronomical work in Bolivia.

Meanwhile, William Drezdzon has assembled a small observing program for us to complete, in addition to the League’s Southern Sky observing programs.

We at SSSP have also arranged several guest speakers including:
Andres Valencia - of the Arval observatory in Venezuela who will speak on his work in astronomy in Venezuela and his work in Cosmology.
Manuel De La Torre - of the University of San Andres Planetarium will give his presentation on the Ancient Andean “Alapacha” Astronomy.
Gonzalo Vargas - of Cochimbamba Bolivia who will speak on the development of science programs in the schools and community in Bolivia.
Scott Mitchel will also share his work in Archeo-Astronomy including his recent studies in Egypt.

As many of you are aware, the existing baggage embargo with the Airline has restricted what equipment we can bring. But last year, two members discovered some existing exceptions that will allow us to exceed these restrictions. If you have equipment that you think will be larger or heavier than the 2 - 70 lb checked bags limitation in weight or size, please contact us asap so we can get working on transportation arrangements for your equipment. This gives us a wide variety of special options helping in transportation of our equipment down to the site.

The tour will take place from June 24th through July 1. Our flight to La Paz is tentatively departing Miami at 11:35 pm June 24 and returning 3:50 pm July 1. We suggest that if you intend to take advantage of the frequent flyer miles by American Airlines, that you contact them and open an account prior to March 1. Any passengers without a current passport may pick-up application forms at any local post office. Be sure to allow yourself ample time for processing (the average is 45 days).

If you are interested in joining us for the SSSP, and don’t yet have a paid registration on file with SSSP, please forward your $300 deposit payment as soon as possible. We only have 50 seats available on this flight and our count today stands at 38 passengers. Officially, all registrations must be in by February 15, 2000 to assure our group price for the airlines. Late registrations may be subject to higher airline rates.

Side-trips and daytime excursions available are (per-person):
Lake Titicaca Panorama $30 / Hydrofoil tour - Copacbana route $120 / Kalahuta Island w/ Picnic $40 / Tiwanaku Ruins $40 / City Tour $25 / La Paz Shopping Tour $25 / the Machu Picchu 4 day tour extension $550 - (These prices are approximated from last year and are subject to change without notice)

Again, the altitude at the site is 12,500 feet and is a serious health issue you should discuss with your doctor. You may wish to request that your physician consider a prescription of the medication, Diamox. We employ a US trained and educated Bolivian physician at the hotel, but we cannot stress enough the seriousness of this issue.

Our list of pre-registered guests to date, their interests and equipment choices include:
A Chicago area 5 year Veteran / Deep-sky observing, bird watching / a 5” f/5 refractor
Observer from Arkansas / general science and astronomy
Retired MD couple from Missouri / Astronomy and bird watching / LX 200 7”
2 young ladies from St. Louis / South American culture & photography
3 Kansas City area couples / Astro photography and observing / Questar & binoculars
Venezuelan Family / Observatory director & Cosmology / Astroscan 2001 & Binoc’s
Avid observer from Florida / Southern Binocular list & Southern Astronomy .
5 year veteran couple / Math, Astronomy / Televue Pronto
A KC family of 3 / Astro photography, High Altitude hiking / 8” Dobsonian & cameras
A Houston couple / Archeo Astronomy / 10” Dobsonian
Italian Planetarium Director / Eclipses, Meteorology / Televue 85
A young St. Louis couple / South American Culture
2 Kansas Astronomers / General Astronomy / Binoculars
Michigan observer / Southern Sky, South American Culture / NexStar 5” & Binoculars
Californian couple / Science, microbiology
Bolivian Science Teacher Science / Solar observing /5” Refractor
El Salvadoran Astronomer / Public Astronomy & international Forums
Active observer from Texas / Mastering Observing Awards / 18” Dobsonian
2 Californian observers / Solar observing and UFO studies / Celestron NexStar 5"
Vic & Jen Winter, Directors / Astro Photography, Halpha, eclipses / Celestron 9.25 & h-alpha

Rick Singmaster -Starmaster telescopes will be helping us install the 22” Dobsonian at the site.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
We’d love to hear from you,

or visit

Vic & jen Winter - Southern Skies Star Party Directors
4907 W. 57th Terrace, Shawnee Mission, KS 66205 • 913.432.4636

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