Science & Tech

Texas A&M Astronomy, Stella Hotel Team Up For Star Party Series Starting July 27

July 19, 2017

Overhead view of The Backyard at The Stella Hotel, site of quarterly star parties to be jointly sponsored by The Stella and Texas A&M Physics and Astronomy.
By Shana K. Hutchins, Texas A&M University College of Science

It’s a match made in heaven, er, the heavens for one of Bryan-College Station’s crown jewels in boutique hospitality named after a star and a rising star on the international astronomical research and instrumentation scene.

The Stella Hotel is partnering with the Texas A&M University Department of Physics and Astronomy to host a new quarterly Star Parties series, set to kick off later this month.

On Thursday, July 27, at 9 p.m., the local community and visitors are invited to gather on The Stella’s expansive outdoor lawn, The Back Yard, for the inaugural stargazing and sky watching event, led by Texas A&M astronomer Dr. Jennifer Marshall.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Dr. Marshall and her amazing team from Texas A&M,” said Peggy Trott, general manager for The Stella. “The Back Yard is the perfect spot for an evening of stargazing under the Lone Star sky, and we look forward to having families and friends gather there throughout the year.”

Texas A&M Physics and Astronomy is home to world-leading research in subjects including astronomy, atomic physics and quantum optics. The Stella is collaborating with Marshall and the university to host an experiential evening featuring a variety of telescope stations that will be pointed at different celestial bodies, including planets, constellations and the moon. Members of Marshall’s team will be stationed at each telescope to help guide visitors through the viewing process. 

Throughout the Star Parties, The Stella will offer an al fresco bar serving a variety of refreshing, festive beverages, including the Embers cocktail with Tito’s vodka infused with vanilla, Creme de Cacao, whipped cream, marshmallow and a brown sugar graham cracker crust. Additionally, the hotel is offering a 10 percent discount at their on-site restaurant, Campfire, for those who plan to stop by the restaurant prior to the event. 

The Star Parties at The Back Yard are free and open to the public. Additional Star Parties will take place in the fall and winter, tentatively set for Thursday, September 28, and Thursday, December 14, respectively. 

For more information, visit or call (979) 421-4000. Reservations for Campfire can be made through OpenTable or by calling (979) 421-4444.

To learn more about Texas A&M Astronomy or additional summer 2017 star parties scheduled on the Texas A&M campus, visit

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or Dr. Jennifer Marshall, (979) 862-2782 or


This story by Shana K. Hutchins originally appeared on the College of Science website.

Related Stories

Recent Stories