Milky Way Star Festival

For as long as we humans have looked up at the starry heavens,  the graceful, arching band of the Milky Way stretched out above our heads has reminded us of our our shared heritage of the night sky.  Whenever we gaze at the outstretched arm of our home galaxy, no matter where we live on Earth, we can get a sense of the connection between our planet Earth, and the Universe.

Get set to celebrate our home galaxy, the Milky Way! Based on the annual, traditional Tanabata festival held across Japan every summer, AWB will be holding its own very special online festival that will look at our Milky Way through global cultural stories, contemporary art, observational science and astrophotography from many parts of the world. 

Mark your calendar and join us for some cosmic fun August 6 to 13. Stay tuned to this page and social media channels for detailed program announcements in the coming days. 

Get Your Souvenir Shirt and Support AWB!

Remember your own cosmic tours of the Milky Way by getting the official swag from the Milky Way Star Festival and show your support for Astronomers Without Borders.

Big thanks to our partners at Celestron for donating sales of this T-shirt to support non-profit Astronomers Without Borders and its global outreach efforts. 



Join the livestream on August 13 at 8:30 am EDT / 1230 UTC on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter (X)

Join the livestream on August 12 at 7:30 am EDT / 1130 UTC on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter (X)

Join the livestream on August 11 at 5 pm EDT / 2000 UTC on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter (X)

Join the livestream on August 8 at 4 pm EDT / 2000 UTC on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter (X)

Speaker Bio

Charles Ennis got his first telescope as a child but when he got involved in a law enforcement career working night shift that interfered with that passion. Charles retired from this career in April 2013, bought a new telescope, and joined the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC that August. Within months he became their media director and in December 2014 became President of the SCC. In May 2016 became National Secretary and in 2022/23 served as National President. Charles has served with the Editorial Board and is the author Building a Small Observatory (Published 2016, 2nd edition 2021) and the Solar Observer’s Handbook (published 2017). He’s the editor of the 2nd and 3rd editions of the Explore the Universe Handbook. He’s served on the Fundraising Committee, the Finance Committee, and is coordinator of the Public Speaker’s Program. He’s the cofounder of the Inclusivity and Diversity Committee (2018) and has been doing presentations on the sky cultures of the world since 2017. In June 2021 he founded the World Asterisms Project.


Jeff Burkes' Adventures Photographing the Milky Way    Date/Time  TBD

Deep Sky Tour of Milky Way with Virtual Telescope Project from Rome, Italy       August 11 @ 2100 UTC

Perseid Meteor Shower and Milky Way Livestream from China       Date/Time TBD


Create a Members' Report about a cultural story or a personal story about the Milky Way and see it published here. You must sign in as a member to contribute. Don't forget to add the hashtag #MilkyWayFestival when you're finished writing.

Milky Way Festival Events

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Check out Celestron's Ultimate Guide to Observing the Milky Way!

Capture the Moment!

Take a photo of the Milky Way using just your smartphone!

AWB and IAU's OAO have teamed up and gathered some of the foremost experts in smartphone astrophotography to provide some tips and tricks about how to use a smartphone to take beautiful photographs of the night sky. The techniques you learn will not only enhance your astrophotography skills but also enable you to actively participate in AWB's Observing programs.

Milky Way Photo Gallery