Important additional information on Club Solar and Night time Observing Activities
All observing events are Weather Permitting.
If it is cloudy or a chance of rain, we may not setup at all.
There may be no way to provide advance notice of cancellation.
Events may be cancelled several hours before scheduled time based on observed conditions and forecasts at that time and weather may change.
Star Party Etiquette: Bright white flashlights are not welcome. We use red flashlights to preserve our night vision. At the parks, please use just your parking lights if possible. As there may be cords and tripod legs that are hard to see in the dark, we ask that all children be well behaved and cautious around the telescopes. If you need help in moving around in the dark, just ask. Someone will be happy to guide you with a red light. If you have a telescope and need help with it, just ask. Someone will be glad to show you how to use it.
Golden Rules to Telescope Observing: Move your eye to the telescope, don’t try to move the telescope to your eye! Ladders/chairs are there for your support, the telescopes do not provide support and should not be touched
Observing Sites – See Calendar of Events for Dates and Times
Monthly Star Parties: These are held at either Seahawk Park in Cape Coral or at Caloosahatchee Regional Park (CRP) off SR78 7 miles east of SR31. Other than park fees noted, these are free and open to the public. Those wanting to learn how to use equipment can bring it to the monthly star parties or the monthly meetings. We are always glad to help people learn how to use their telescopes. It is also a great way to learn about different telescopes and try some out before making a purchase.
Seahawk Park Observing: is in North Cape Coral off Wilmington Blvd. (Nelson Rd or Chiquita Blvd are the nearest cross streets.) There is a brown sign in the center median at the entrance to the park. (GPS may not get you to the park, as some of the local roads have been closed.) You will make a big J hook before getting to the parking area. Seahawk Park is managed by the Cape Coral R/Seahawks Club for Radio Controlled Planes and they have priority. They are usually done by sunset but may be there before sunrise. Park in the lot and transport your equipment to the concrete staging area before the runway. This park is handicap capable as there is level concrete leading from parking to the staging area.
Caloosahatchee Regional Park: CRP has a gate that closes at dusk, you can check the county’s website for current gate closing times and the status of the park’s Northside entrance as that is where we observe from. (They may close the area if there are issues with the trails.) There is a parking fee of $1/hr or $5/day at CRP. Park in the main Northside parking lot. We sometimes setup down the dirt road that goes to the east. That area is grassy and may not be level, so one should walk on the dirt road as much as possible and watch their step.
Big Cypress: The Big Cypress Visitor Center is located off US41 5 miles east of SR29 about 25 miles east of Naples. Big Cypress has earned a Dark Sky Park designation. They hold observing events down the road that extends south of the Visitor Center during the winter months. This is a real dark sky site. Their observing events are free.
Solar Events: We have daytime solar events where one can safely look at the Sun. Things such as sunspots and prominences may be visible. These are free unless tied to another event that may have an entrance fee. There are seasonal monthly events held at different parks around Charlotte County as well as at other major public events in SW FLA.
Rotary Park Star Party: This is a free public star party held at Rotary Park at the south end of Pelican Blvd in South Cape Coral. Park to the west of the main building and walk to where we are setup to the east of the main building
Moore Observatory, FSW Punta Gorda Campus: The campus is located off Airport Rd just east of I-75. Go to the right around the lake and park. The observatory is located down the path along the lake. Besides the telescope in the observatory, additional scopes may be setup around the observatory. This is a free event