This will be updated… soon. Kinda. Really.
After having to cancel the 2020 Nightfall, it was a welcomed return in 2021! Unfortunately, our anticipated featured presenter and PixInsight expert, Ron Brecher, had to cancel his appearance due to COVID-related travel restrictions between the US and Canada. We still had great premium presentations by Rory Clarke (Equipment Configurations and Setting Up), Alex McConahay (Optimizing Your Imaging Time), and Ken Daly (PixInsight Processing Workflow).
Free presentations included:
Weather: We had another Nightfall with excellent weather. Highs ranged from the low 80s to 90° and lows were in the low to mid 50s. The only clouds reported blew through on Sunday morning.
See the full Nightfall 2021 Program here (actual presentations and activities differed from the printed program).
October 15 – 18
Nightfall 2020 didn’t happen due to health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
October 24 – 27
The Premium Presentation was by Richard S. Wright, Jr. of Software Bisque. His topic was Best Practices in Astrophotography.
Free presentations included:
Weather: Temperatures reached the low to mid 90s during the day with evening lows in the mid to high 50s. We had clear nights with just a few high clouds Friday night. There were also some gusty winds on Friday during the day but they settled down by the evening hours.
Attendance was excellent. The hotel rooms and RV spaces were nearly fully booked.
November 1 – 4
Our Premium Presentation included 4 different speakers on 4 different topics:
Free presentations included:
Weather: Temperatures reached the low 80s during the day and lows were very comfortable in the high 50s. We had high clouds most nights that usually cleared around midnight or a bit later. Very light breeze now and then.
Attendance was excellent. Almost all rooms and RV spaces were occupied.
October 19 – 22
Also during Nightfall 2017, we had solar viewing with Norman van Treeck and Michael Frasier and a panel discussion on taking your gear on the road.
Weather: Temperatures got to the high 80s and low 90s during the day and lows were a very comfortable low to mid-60s. Some clouds passed through Friday and Saturday evenings but cleared for those who stayed up late enough. Wind picked up a bit on Friday but was otherwise mild.
Attendance was excellent once again with hotel rooms mostly booked and the RV park was about 95% full.
October 27 – 30
Despite less than optimal weather this time around, the 23rd Nightfall Star Party & Imaging Conference was another great success. Speakers and their presentations included:
Weather: Days were about 85-90° F and evenings were generally around 70° F (high 60s at the coolest). Wind was mostly non-existent and very light when it did show up. Clouds gave us some trouble this year with only a few clear hours each night but fortunately, there was no rain.
Attendance was excellent with hotel rooms mostly booked and the RV park was about 95% full.
The video below isn’t a “Nightfall” video per se, but it was taken during Nightfall in the Badlands east of the Palm Canyon Hotel. Toward the end, there are also some shots of the hotel. Turn up the volume and enjoy the experience (the video is intentionally blank for about the first 15 seconds)!
November 5 – 8
The 22nd Nightfall Star Party & Imaging Conference was another great success. Speakers and their presentations included:
Weather: Days were about 70-75° F and evenings were generally around 55° F (it got as cool as 52° F early on Thursday morning). Wind was almost non-existent except for light afternoon breezes and the skies were perfectly clear every night. There was a brilliant blue-green fireball on Thursday night around 6:05PM, and on Saturday we got an excellent show in the western sky courtesy of the US Navy. They launched an unarmed Trident II missile from a submarine off the San Diego coast. Check out the video below at about 2m03s!
The hotel rooms were fully reserved except for a couple no-shows and the RV park was about 80% full.
October 23 – 26
Southern California’s best star party was another success in 2014. Speakers and their presentations included:
Weather: Days were about 90-95° F and evenings got as cool as 58°F in the early morning hours. Wind was almost non-existent and the skies were perfectly clear on Wednesday and Thursday nights. There was a brief cloud disturbance on Friday night/Saturday morning that lasted only about 1 hour. Saturday night into Sunday morning however, clouded up and remained cloudy.
The hotel rooms were fully reserved except for a couple no-shows and the RV park was about 70% full (even though reservations indicated it would be more full).
October 31 – November 3
After a one-year hiatus, Nightfall returned and was better than ever! Speakers and their presentations included:
NOTE: Neil Fleming also offers personal, hands-on tutoring to help you process your images. He can even use your data to get the most out of your images. Check out his website to learn more!
Weather: Days were about 75°-80°F and evenings got as cool as 50°F in the early morning hours. Wind was almost non-existent and the skies were perfectly clear from Wednesday through Sunday, except for a small disturbance that blew through on Saturday evening (it cleared up by about 10:30PM).
The hotel rooms were fully reserved except for a couple no-shows and the RV park was about 80-90% full.
It was a dark time and not in a good way. The ownership and future of the Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort was up in the air. Hence, there was no Nightfall 2012.
Nightfall started in 1993 with the goal of hosting a star party under dark skies at a resort with full amenities. It was an effort by the same folks who put on the RTMC Astronomy Expo. It has since changed hands and is now operated/hosted by the Riverside Astronomical Society.
Every Nightfall has been well-attended and, as far as we can tell, everyone who attends has a great time!