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I attended Crowley for the first time Saturday night and can confirm...IT IS WORTH THE TRIP!!!

Whether you have a scope and want some pointers, don't' have a scope but just want to gaze skyward, (or anything in between)...the skies are majestic and awe inspiring.
Our next Sidewalk Astronomy event is scheduled for Saturday, November 25, 2017 at the Celery Fields.

You can find complete details at the following event link I've posted on Facebook...
Just a reminder about the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers’ DARK SKY SITE:

We schedule observing at the Crowley Nature Center on two Saturdays each month. (The Saturdays closest to Last Quarter and New Moon).

The night sky from Crowley is DARK, so not only are far more stars (and the Milky Way!) visible to the naked eye, virtually every object seen through our telescopes and binoculars is significantly better and brighter when observed from Crowley rather than the light-polluted skies closer to town. For astrophotographers, the dark skies permit much longer time exposures...and thus much better photos of deep sky objects like star-fields, galaxies, and nebulae.

LGDSO members are welcome to bring guests... even kids! Please though, leave the pets and “adult beverages” for another time and place.

There are a few other guidelines, mostly involving lighting restrictions when attending a dark sky event at Crowley: Use of a ‘regular’ flashlight is off-limits; red lights are the norm. Also, if observers are on the field when coming or going, your car’s headlights should be turned off and parking lights only should be used

The LGDSO Forum (at is the place for members to check to see whether or not an event is a “go”. (Cloudy skies can cancel a Crowley event, but heavy rains leading up to a scheduled event can make the observing field unusable even if the skies are perfect.)

If you would like to participate in our Crowley events, join our club and monitor the Forum! More than likely, your favorite astronomy memories are going to come from a special night at a dark site like this one.  When was the last time you saw the Milky Way from horizon to horizon, and fireflies too?

Here's a shot of the Andromeda Galaxy M31, along with two other galaxies... M110, and M32 taken from our dark site.
Thanks for the cancellation notice.  I had everything ready to go and since we have a bit of a drive from Venice, it's appreciated to know not to show up.  Next month will be more into the fall season and hopefully the weather will also be much better.

Scratch the earlier post.

As much as I hate to do it, I have just canceled tonight's Sidewalk Astronomy at G.T. Bray Park.

There are waves of thundershowers passing through the area and radar shows a heavy storm bearing down on the park as I write this.

As active as the atmosphere is right now with both rain (and especially lightning), it not only doesn't bode well for good observing... it's potentially dangerous. And at the very least... unpleasant!

There is no "rain date" for Sidewalk Astronomy. Our next event is scheduled for Saturday, October 28th at the Celery Fields.
Regarding this evening's Sidewalk Astronomy at G.T. Bray Park in West Bradenton...
5801 33rd Ave Dr W, Bradenton (On the field just behind the Coast Guard Auxiliary Building.)

The weather forecast for this evening's event remains... IFFY! (This is the most frustrating type of forecast for us because it MIGHT be okay---and then again---it might not!)

As of 4:00 p.m., there are a lot of scattered showers throughout the state and they're all headed towards the Gulf.  😧

If we're lucky, they'll rain themselves out before they get to West Bradenton and we'll be able to enjoy some clear skies.

Just bear in mind that even if we're able to set up tonight... we'll have to keep a vigil and may end up having to wrap things up on pretty short notice if a rain shower sneaks up on us!
Seeing as I'm headed to a state park outside of Cadiz, Kentucky (population 2,626!) for this event, I may be able to answer your question in a couple of weeks or so!

Clear skies, everyone!   8)
I've been employed in the industry for over 20 years. I remember the Hale Bopp excitement in 1997 topped considerably by the Mars Opposition of 2003. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has come close to what the industry is experiencing for this eclipse. Well, maybe Halley's Comet in 1986 but I'm not sure. I wasn't in the industry then.

Retailers can't keep up with shipments of solar shades. The company I work for went from what we thought was "way too much" to "not nearly enough" inventory in just 2 weeks. One school district alone purchased over 150,000 solar shades. It's been absolutely insane.

I have to wonder if some of the smaller towns in the path of totality will have sufficient infrastructure to handle the pending onslaught of humanity about to come their way. We shall see, it has certainly been exciting!!!
I've got a Coronado PST that I break out occasionally. It's absolutely fascinating looking at the face of the sun.

This thread just gave me the location idea for the 21st eclipse, Robinson. The museum is closed on Mondays so their loss. Robinson would probably love it though.

This is a great deal. The CPC 9.25 "a la carte" without all these goodies retails for $2500.
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