Astronomical Events and Information

General Observing Tips

If you are in here because you want to observe an event (Comet), a general observing tip is to try to observe under very dark skies (rural areas), as far away as possible from light pollution (cities and suburbs). This effort to avoid light pollution will make the biggest improvement in your observing experience.

Binoculars are generally the best aid to the naked eye for observing a comet. (7x50's are ideal, higher power is to be avoided.) It is even possible that at some time during a comets apparition even binoculars will be too powerful... A telescope is a big mistake, it will have much too narrow a field of view.


Warning: Please, you should not just go out to an unfamiliar rural "dark" area. Go someplace you know is safe. Think about some of the potential dangers of what you might be doing. Some obvious potential hazards in remote dark areas are cars, wild animals, insects, snakes and reptiles, intoxicated people carrying guns, unfamiliar terrain, no help, etc.

Local (Miami) Observing Tips

In South Florida some very good dark skies can be found in The Everglades National Park. (Don't forget mosquito repellent.) The light pollution around the greater Miami area is very bad. Even down at Flamingo(in the Everglades), 38 miles from the park entrance, the light pollution from the greater Miami area can be seen as a glow on the northern horizon.

For people in the Miami area who, for whatever reason, cannot get to a safe and dark observing site: check out the locations where the Southern Cross Astronomical Society (Phone:305-661-1375) is holding public observing sessions. Also the Miami Museum of Science and the Space Transit Planetarium (who's internet presence is limited to StarHustler at the moment) usually has set up an event hotline (Phone: 305-854-2222) and features shows and observing sessions.


The Copernicus Observatory

For members of the University Community: (Students, faculty, employees, and alumni.) The University of Miami Physics Department maintains an Observatory for teaching purposes. The Copernicus Observatory is located on the Coral Gables Campus, on the roof of the Ungar Computing Center. (The building houses the Mathematics and Computer Science departments, and is located just to the left of the main entrance off of San Amaro Drive.) The Observatory is accessible only through the stairwell from the 5th floor to the roof of the building in the northwest corner. Please exercise caution, do not walk on the gravel section of the roof, walk only on the concrete paved path to the door of the Observatory. There is no fence between the paved path to the observatory and the edge of the roof located about 10 ft. away. All children must be very strictly controlled.

Observing and Events Guides and Resources


What's that you said? You cannot find the time to go out and observe now that you've gotten into the WWW? Have I got some sites for you.
If you have any suggestions or comments please;
e-mail me or send me e-mail at:
cboynton@miami.edu

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