Welcome to the Imperial Polk County Astronomical Society website! We are a group of amateur astronomers in Central Florida, dedicated to informing and educating the public about the art and science of astronomy. Come join us at one of our monthly “Astronomy Nights,” located at one of several state and municipal parks here in Polk County.
- 22Saturday, July 22http://polkastro.org/event/july-astronomy-night/Colt Creek State ParkColt Creek State Park, Lakeland, FL, United States
Everyone is talking about IT. Everyone is asking questions. Everyone wants to know where we’ll be. What is IT? IT is the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. That’s right, we’ve had numerous people and organizations asking if we are planning to do something (anything) for the eclipse. As of this date, here’s our plan: On July 22nd and August 12th (before the eclipse), we will do a presentation about solar eclipses. We’ll tell you what to expect from it, how and why an eclipse happens, how to watch it safely and where to go to see this one in it’s totality. Here in Florida, you’ll see a partial eclipse of about 85%. So, if you’ll be here in Florida on our Astronomy Night dates on July 22nd or August 12th, come on out and get the lowdown on the upcoming solar eclipse.
In July, we will be at Colt Creek State Park just North of Lakeland and in August we’ll be at Circle B in Lakeland. Maps will be displayed each month. Since one of the most important things we’ll discuss is safely viewing the eclipse, the following website is one place where you can get eclipse viewing glasses for free (but hurry, they may not last long): www.2017solar.com/free-eclipse-glasses/
I’ll say it now and in the presentation: Do not look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection. You can cause permanent damage, even blindness, looking at the Sun without proper eye protection. Be safe!
The presentation starts at 7:00 pm, rain or shine. Don’t let the weather stop you. We’re indoors in the A/C (except Colt Creek, but we’re under cover). If the weather is good, we’ll get our scopes out after the presentation and bring the distant universe closer to us (in appearance). So, don’t miss it, you’ll be glad you came.
Until then, Keep looking up.
We “get around” to several different venues and events during the year. We hope to see you at as many of these events as you can come to. See below for our complete schedule for the year (click here to download). We add events throughout the year, so check back often for the most up to date info! You can also use the subscription form in the sidebar to receive the latest updates automatically.
So why the name “Imperial”? That goes back to the early years of our home, Polk County, Florida. At one time, Polk County boasted more paved roads than anywhere else in the southeast U.S., hence the “Imperial” moniker. It was probably more of a P.R. thing than anything else, but the name has stuck. We are still officially known as “Imperial Polk County,” and are proud of our heritage. If you look alongside several of the old roads crossing the county line, you can still see some of the old county line markers that were installed in the 1930’s.
For more information, visit http://www.polkcountyhistory.org/