Mother Nature has not cooperated the past two Saturday evenings, thus causing the cancellation of public stargazing at the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society’s observatory at Jefferson Township Park. The organization is hoping that conditions will be right Saturday, July 24, to resume stargazing after being cancelled a year-and-a-half-ago because of COVID-19.
According to Gene Stringer, spokesperson for the society, the heavy rains left the outdoor viewing pads under water. “In addition, we share our activities with The Flying Circuits and the Maumee Valley Steam Tractor Club. Sometimes we must close stargazing because of the bright lights, which ruin viewing," Stringer said. "We are hoping that this Saturday will bring suitable conditions for viewing the heavens.”
The public star parties will continue every clear Saturday night through November. If conditions are right July 24, people are urged to arrive around an hour after sunset. Viewing will continue for two hours. Unvaccinated individuals should observe COVID-19 protocols and wear masks and practice social distancing. Society members will be on site to assist visitors.
Persons interested in learning what they might expect to see in the summer, fall and early winter skies can consult the seasonal star maps on the society’s website at fortwayneastronomicalsociety.com.
The society maintains three powerful telescopes inside the observatory and members will set up their personal telescopes on the five outside pads. Individuals are invited to bring their own telescopes and members are available to help them get set up.
Fort Wayne Astronomical Society was incorporated in 1959 at the corner of Dupont and Lima Roads. It moved to Fox Island in 1979 and then to Jefferson Township Park in 2012 and opened its observatory in May of 2017.
The society’s observatory is located in Jefferson Township Park, 1702 Webster Road, off Dawkins Road east of New Haven.