CFAS Observing Sites

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Harmony Site

The Harmony Dark Sky Observing site is no longer available due to changes in the management of the town of Harmony. The Starfield area is no longer available.

CFAS is in the process of developing an observing agreement with Forever Florida, which is located aproximately 7 miles South of the Holopaw and 192 Intersection. 
More to come on this !

 

Ocala National Forest Site

The Ocala Dark sky site is located at the old Navy range station off of Florida highway 19 some 13 miles north of Umatilla, Florida and a mile south of Florida Highway 40. There are signs for a US navy facility marking the road to the site (NFS road 524). CFAS has an agreement with the National Forest service to have private access to this area on specific new moon nights. The agreement requires that a porta-potty be available on viewing nights. Telescopes are set up in a large paved area. No elecricity is available, however some members bring small generators. Seeing conditions are good with views to the east and south being the best. The Ocala light dome interferes with views to the northwest.
The site is located at Lat: 29° 8’ 34.23 N, Long: 81°38’ 32.06’’ W. 

http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=29.143461,-81.642238&z=15&t=h&hl=en
Clear Sky Clock:  http://cleardarksky.com/c/CFASCFFLkey.html
CFAS members are asked to sign up in advance on the observing Forum. This allows the CFAS Ocala site member to make arrangements for the porta-potty.   If arriving after dark ensure headlights are turned off after passing the new Navy facility on the left.
CFAS Ocala site POC:  Vince White; vwhite45@cfl.rr.com

CFAS Permit

 

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve Site (KPP)

The KPP dark sky site is located at the KPP Florida campground. CFAS uses this excellent facility for its two annual star parties held in the Spring and Fall during the new moon. The camp ground is located off of US 441 some 25 miles northwest of Okeechobee, Florida. Take county road 724 west off of US 441, and follow the signs some 13 miles to the campground. This is an excellent dark sky site that is on par with the state's best areas. The camp ground offers sites with water and electricity hook ups. Showers and rest rooms available. Besides the 12 new sites built for astronomers there are many additional ones available in a wooded area. Florida park fees are required.  http://www.floridastateparks.org/kissimmeeprairie/default.cfm

The site is located at Lat: 27° 35’ 4.60 N, Long: 81°2’ 42.92’’ W. 
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=27.583365,-81.045885&z=16&t=h&hl=en
Clear Sky Clock: http://cleardarksky.com/c/KPPFLkey.html?1
CFAS reserves camp sites in advance for the star parties.  Check the Astrofest Forum for reservations.

 

CFAS Observing Site Rules

The CFAS Observing sites are both privately and publicly owned.  They are designated for the purpose of advancing amateur astronomy.  To ensure all users of our observing sites can have meaningful and fun times we follow an universal  dark sky protocol.   Members and their guests are welcome at our sites during new moon weekends (and other times, if prior arrangements have been made) to setup and observe.  Additionally, all members and guests must register at our Spring and Fall Astrofest  events.

On a typical clear sky new moon weekend, a wide range of members and visitors may be at our sites -- new beginners to advanced experts, casual observers to detailed imagers, and simple inexpensive telescopes to advanced very expensive equipment . Clearly we want all attendees to have a worthwhile experience.  This requires all abide by a set of rules and guidelines.  These are based in the  most part on applying common courtesy.  A good universal rule:  Ask if you are not sure.

Rule #1 - Have Fun!

Vehicles and  lights- It is best to arrive at our observing sessions before sunset.  If you do arrive after darkness approach the observing site with parking lights only.  Lights off when entering the area.  Rig your vehicle doors so no lights come on when opened.  When leaving the reverse is true.  Let people know before you start up your vehicle.

Lights - at dusk all lights go red (monitors, cameras, computers, flashlights, etc.)

Trash - is your responsibility. This includes food-generated trash, cigar and cigarette butts, soda cans, etc. When you leave, your trash goes with you. Please leave the site without evidence of your stay.

Astro-Electric - The electricity provided on fields is designed for powering astronomy related electronics such as telescopes, laptops, dew heaters, camera's, etc.  Please refrain from using coffee makers, electric space heaters, microwave ovens, clothing dryers, large screen TV's, and other high current draw devices.  Everyone loses if a breaker pops.

Music - help yourself but please be considerate to those who may not have the same taste in music - when in doubt ask.

Sleep – During CFAS multi-night  Astrofest  events, after endless hours of searching the cosmos, rest is a good thing.  If you happen to be an early riser, please keep quiet.  Courtesy allows for observers to sleep until noon, so please be considerate.

Pets - are welcome.  Please make sure you pick up and properly dispose of all waste and make sure that they are well behaved towards others and properly secured.

Behavior - observe common courtesy towards others on the field -- be considerate of all and if you have any doubt, ask.

Green Lasers - They may be used at observing  events, but please do not point lasers at any person, land target, or aircraft and be considerate of imagers.  Check with those around you before using the laser.  Imagers have priority.

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