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.

Upcoming Events:

  • 05
    Saturday, May 05

    7:00 pm-10:00 pm
    MacKay Gardens
    MACKAY GARDENS AND LAKESIDE PRESERVE, Mackay Boulevard, Lake Alfred, FL, United States

    Our Astronomy Night in May will be at Mackay Garden in Lake Alfred, FL on May 5th starting at 7:00 pm.

    We’ll be there with our telescopes to observe the wonders of the universe. And this is a great time of the year for observing. The air is still clear and the humidity is down so the “seeing” is pretty good. And some of the best astronomical “stuff” is still visible this time of the year. We’ll “focus” our telescopes on star clusters, nebulae and even galaxies far, far away. There’s so much out there. There will be plenty of things for the whole family to experience.

    But don’t come out just to see the universe. We’ll have our usual informative and “entertaining” presentation before we get the scopes out and bring the universe to you.  We’ll be talking about “Astronomy for Beginners”. We’ll show you how to be an astronomer without a telescope. That’s right, you don’t have to have a telescope to observe celestial objects. Just use your eyes. All you need to do is look up. You can start by learning and identifying constellations. You may not see the “faint fuzzies” on the other side of the universe, but if you have dark skies, you can see the Andromeda galaxy, our closest “faint fuzzy” neighbor, without a telescope.

    Remember, “the show goes on” rain or shine, so don’t let the weather stop you. We give everyone a chance to ask questions and make comments. We want you to be involved and help us by participating.

    Summer is here and the rainy season isn’t far off. So come out for a night to remember. Be an astronomer, and let us bring the universe to you. You’ll be glad you came.

    Clear skies and
    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 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.

For more information, visit http://www.polkcountyhistory.org/