Public Star Watches for 2023
West Jersey Astronomical Society  Last updated 5.20.2023

"Star Watch" is a term amateur astronomers use for an evening get-together where we talk, look through telescopes, find new objects and enjoy each others company. Our public Star Watches are an opportunity for you to:

With COVID-19 restrictions substantially relaxed, now our club has scheduled eleven (11) public star watches for 2023. They will be held in New Jersey's Wharton State Forest, at Batsto Village, where our telescopes will be set up on the field beside the visitors' center or the field at Atsion on the east side of Rt 206, and two at Historic Smithville Park in Easthampton, NJ (near Mt Holly). Directions are linked at the bottom of this page. Attendees at Batsto should park in the paved parking lot at the front of the visitor's center. Reservations (no cost) are needed for Smithville; check the line item on the WAS home page for details.

These events are weather-permitting, so always check the WAS home page for the weather status (go/no-go) before heading out. This information will usually be posted by 1:00 pm on the day of the event.

Etiquette and safety - following a few simple rules will maintain an adequate level of safety and improve the general experience:

For more information, contact our Star Watch Director, Suzanne Leap, or her assistant, Joe Stieber.


2023 WAS Public Star Watch Schedule (dates not finalized as of January 23, 2023)

Eastern Daylight Time is in effect for all dates, except November 18 is Eastern Standard Time. The end of Astronomical Twilight is given. Note that reservations with the Burlington County Park System (no fee) are needed for the Smithville events, details will be posted on the WAS home page as the event date approaches. The go/no-go weather call will also be posted on the WAS home page on the day of each event.



Location (held?)

Event Start Time


  Twilight Ends

March 25


Atsion Field - No

7:00 pm

7:16 pm

8:47 pm

April 12


Smithville Park - Yes

7:30 pm

7:34 pm

9:10 pm

April 22


Atsion Field - No

7:30 pm

7:44 pm

9:23 pm

May 11


Smithville Park - Yes

8:00 pm

8:03 pm

9:52 pm

May 20


Batsto Village - No

8:00 pm

8:10 pm

10:02 pm

June 17


Batsto Village

8:00 pm

8:28 pm

10:29 pm

July 22


Batsto Village

8:00 pm

8:20 pm

10:12 pm

August 12*


Batsto Village

7:30 pm

7:58 pm

9:40 pm

September 16


Batsto Village

6:30 pm

7:05 pm

8:36 pm

October 14


Batsto Village

6:30 pm

6:20 pm

7:50 pm

November 18


Batsto Village

5:30 pm

4:40 pm

6:14 pm


* The night of August 12-13 coincides with the peak of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.


Click here for a printable PDF version of the schedule.


For directions, click on the respective location below.

GPS Coordinates

Latitude (north)

Longitude (west)

Atsion Field

39 deg 44 min 32 sec 74 deg 43 min 28 sec

Batsto Village

39 deg 38 min 37 sec 74 deg 38 min 45 sec

Smithville Park

39 deg 59 min 14 sec 74 deg 44 min 55 sec

Finally, don't forget to check the web sites of other astronomy clubs in the Delaware Valley area, they frequently schedule as many or more star watches as we do and some may be much closer to you. You can find their web sites at Links. We'll also be holding less-formal Member Star Watches at Atsion throughout the year.