Viewing the night sky without interference from artificial lighting is easy at many Florida state parks. Take advantage of the unobstructed view of far away stars and planets this Saturday, January 19, 2013 at two star watching events happening at local state parks.
The moon will reach it's first-quarter, being exactly half lit, at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, January 18. In the early evening the brightest two or three stars of Aries will be visible just above the moon.
Jupiter will first be visible at twilight to the lower left of the moon and by 8 p.m. Jupiter will have moved to the upper left of the moon. Using a backyard telescope the four major moons of Jupiter - Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto - can be easily viewed. Saturn's striking rings will be able to be viewed through a telescope, too.
Star Party at Sebastian Inlet State Park
The Indian River Astronomical Society is hosting a Star Party at Sebastian Inlet State Park. Guests will meet at the Day Use Area at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday to view the night sky through powerful telescopes. Participants are invited to provide their own telescopes, as well. The Day Use Area is located 1/2 mile south of the Sebastian Inlet bridge on the east side of A1A. The event is free, but park entry fees apply.
Star Gazing at Silver River State Park
The Ocala Astronomy Club will be at Silver River State Park with telescopes and knowledge to share with participants for an educational evening. Learn how to use a telescope and identify sights in the night sky. Guests will meet in the large field across from the campground and are advised to bring blankets and lawn chairs. Reservations are not necessary. The event is free, but park admission fees apply.
For more information about these and other events in Florida State Parks visit their website.