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.
Our October Astronomy Night will be here before you know it. We’ll be at Colt Creek State Park on October 13th. The presentation will begin at 7:00 pm, rain or shine. And now that the weather is starting to give us a break, there’s a good chance that we’ll be able to get our scopes out for a look at the universe out there. There will be galaxies far, far away, star clusters and nebulae not so far away and our own solar system planets not very far away.
And speaking of telescopes, we often have people ask “What telescope is good for a beginner and how much do telescopes cost”? Well, our answer is: it all depends on what you want to look at and how much work you want to do with it. One type of scope is better for viewing planets or the Moon than it is for “faint fuzzies”. Do you want something for viewing the Sun? Do you want to “star hop” to find an object or just push a button and let the computer find it? Do you want to just look or take photos?
You see, there are a few things to consider. So, come out on the 13th and get the facts. Our members have a variety of scopes and they want to tell you about their scope and why they chose that type. I promise, whether you’re considering purchasing a telescope or just curious or maybe planning for the future, this information will be valuable. So, don’t miss it. See you there.
So, what’s the latest IPAS news? We have a new venue. Where? Bartow, FL. And what do we do there? Just what we do everywhere, sort of. It’s called sidewalk astronomy.
So, what is sidewalk astronomy? Sidewalk astronomy is no more than amateur astronomers, like us, setting up our telescopes in a public place (like on a busy sidewalk) and letting anyone who comes by look through the scopes at whatever we find in the night sky to see. We answer any questions about astronomy and the celestial objects we’re viewing.
Our purpose is to educate anyone interested in the basics of astronomy, let them see the wonders of the universe and hopefully, find a few new amateurs who may want to join us.
So come on out to Bartow, visit the many vendors there to see what they have to offer and visit us and see the universe up close. It will be an experience you won’t forget. See you there.
We’ve been at the Aerospace Discovery for many years, doing what we do best. We don’t fly planes or make rockets, but we can tell you how space affects aviation, and our climate. And we’ll do just that. But we don’t just talk. We’ll have our scopes out to let you look at the Sun.
Don’t worry, it’s safe. We have the solar filters. Actually, we have the white light filters so you can see the Sunspots, and the H-alpha filters so you can see the prominences, flares and even the granulation on the Sun’s surface.
So, if you want to learn about aviation and the Sun, come out and visit us. We’ll have our scopes set up in front of the museum. Come out and learn.
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 our complete schedule for the year. click above 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.