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Heads up!

The International Space Station (ISS) will pass directly over Florida early on the evening of Sunday, October 13th.

Approaching our state from the NW, it will rise on the northwest horizon at 7:09 p.m., although depending clouds, horizon obstructions, sky-clarity etc., you probably won't spot it until around 7:11 or 7:12 p.m., several degrees above the northwest horizon.

As it climbs higher and higher in the sky, it will look like an *extremely* bright white star, with no blinking or colored lights. The closer it gets to "overhead" the faster it will appear to move, although this has everything to do with how far away it is from you... much like a car moving at a fixed speed looks like it's moving faster when it's closer to you than when it's far away.

No matter where you are in Florida it will pass very high overhead a couple of minutes after that--and in fact, along that yellow line (see the image) that runs from the Panhandle down to the Keys, it will appear literally straight up.

From the Tampa Bay area this "maximum height above the horizon" will occur just after 7:14 p.m.

In the Florida Panhandle expect it to reach it's maximum height at about 7:13, and from the Keys, it'll be overhead at 7:15. Which means that at a speed of 17,500 mph--it takes just about 2 minutes to get from Tallahassee to Key West! 😱

The ISS will continue in a straight path towards the southeast where it will disappear from view not quite 3 minutes after it passes overhead.

Enjoy the view... in the Tampa Bay area at least, it should be clear skies tomorrow night, making this very easy to spot with the naked eye!
Good(ish) news everyone! 😉

I'm calling this evening's Sidewalk Astronomy event at Robinson Preserve a GO! (With caveats)

The forecast for this evening is likely to include some pretty heavy cloud cover (though almost zero chance of rain) in the first part of the evening... at least until 8:00 p.m. or so.

After 8:00 p.m., and until we've wrapped things up around 10:30, we should have enough of a clear sky (with scattered clouds thrown in) to be able to observe.

Keep your fingers crossed that I'm at least somewhat close with this forecast, and we'll see you out there!
Weather permitting, on Saturday, October 5, 2019 starting at 7:15 p.m., and continuing until at least 10:15 p.m., we will set up our scopes for public observing at the Robinson Preserve Expansion Area in Northwest Bradenton.

The event will be held in the parking area accessed from Robinson Preserve's 9th Avenue NW entrance (10299 9th Avenue NW in Bradenton), a location that enjoys an incredible wide expanse of the nighttime sky. (The Preserve's main entrance at 17th Avenue will not be open or accessible during the evening.)

Observing highlights include the spectacular ringed planet Saturn, as well as the planets Jupiter and Neptune. The first quarter moon and other deep-sky wonders will also be viewed through the member's telescopes.

As always, Sidewalk Astronomy is free of charge and is open to people of all ages.

See you there!
Equipment for Sale/Trade / Bushnell Discoverer Telescope
« Last post by Dave Smith on September 21, 2019, 03:18:15 pm »
I have a like brand new, in the box, Bushnell Discoverer 15X60 X 60mm  Telescope for sale. Also included is a Bushnell Discoverer Telephoto Adapter and a  T- Mount Adapter. This telescope has only been used 3 times and is in perfect condition..  I am asking $100.00 for everything, plus shipping to your zip code.. FTF in the Bradenton area and save shipping...

If interested, please contact me at 

Astronomy Questions and more for LGDSO members and visitors alike! / Observatories
« Last post by Dave Smith on September 16, 2019, 06:59:41 pm »
Can anyone tell me where the closet, major Observatory is... I would like to plan a trip and see two or three observatories, but cannot seems to locate any.. Son't want to fly to Hawaii to see one..

That is a Killer Price!!!

And about 5 minutes after the shot I bailed because I forgot the counterweight for the mount.

Equipment for Sale/Trade / Complete Astrophoto setup w/Nikon P1000
« Last post by Jonathan Sabin on September 12, 2019, 12:07:40 pm »
The following is a nearly-new (purchased in December, 2018 and used three times) camera-based, portable astrophoto setup.
Please respond directly to the owner, Jeff Sisk, if you have an interest in purchasing, making an offer, or have any questions. (Contact info below)

This package includes a Nikon P1000 and a Skywatcher AXZ-GTI Alt-Azimuth mount for video and pictures. I have only used this 3 times (haven't had a lot of time), so even though it is a great (very portable) setup, I have decided to sell it. I just started a new business recently, etc. This would be perfect for somebody just getting started and/or a dad with some kids, etc. that wants to learn the basics. I don't want it to just sit in a case.

I was getting ready to list this on ebay or take up to Johnson Photo Imaging, but thought I would look first to see if anybody in the local astronomy clubs might be interested. Photos are attached.

Nikon Coolpix P1000 Superzoom camera (Read a detailed review of this camera at the link:
Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote
Veatree 77mm Lens Hood Set
Nikon Bluetooth ML-L7 Wireless Remote
Two 1020 mAh Extra Batteries/Charger
Tiffen 77mm 12 Moon Filter (Yellow)
Threaded Black Polymer Solar Filter 77mm (excellent filter)

I am amazed at the pictures and video... the moon, mars, jupiter, saturn... I wish they had this when I was a kid! (I am 55). The camera has an HDMI out, so as you can see in the pictures, I had mounted a 1080p monitor on the tripod for live viewing with a group (monitor not included but somebody could get this for $49 at walmart). It also comes with its own version of autostar.. it is very easy to aim, and the tracking works great. I have original box, manuals, etc. It also has an iphone app that works great also.

Paid $1,545.18 in December, 2018.

Asking $1,060.66 for the complete package.

Regards, Jeff Sisk

Jeffrey Sisk
(352) 220-2440

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