Kissimmee Prairie is one of only two dark sky areas in Florida recognized and “certified” by the International Dark Sky Association. The “Prairie”, as it is referred to by amateur astronomers, is the premier observing/viewing spot in Central Florida. There are other “dark sky” areas in the state, but none are recognized by the IDA. There are some privately owned areas, but access to these are restricted to only those who have invitations. The Prairie is a State Park with access for the public for campers who want to “spend a night” or two, or more. The Prairie has an area set aside specifically for astronomers. The number of camping sites at the astronomy pads are limited and usually booked for months in advance during the prime viewing “season”. Even the regular campsites are hard to get on short notice. So, what is all of this about? The park manager is working with us to have Astronomy Nights at the park on a regular basis. The park will be relocating the main entrance gate to create a large area at the entrance for the public to come in for astronomy presentations and celestial viewing on scheduled nights. No reservations needed. Oh, by the way, we’re the club doing this for the park.
All of this is to say, stay tuned for details about when the public viewing will begin. We’ll post the details as soon as we have more information. But until then, you can still come out as a camper and get in on some fantastic viewing.