1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, longwoodgardens.org. Students and faculty use the observatory for research, as you’d expect. This might sound like an odd one! But if you're willing to shell out a few bucks, the astronomers I spoke with also recommended SkySafari (free to $19.99) for iOS. Pitts said that good exposure in the west and south directions are the most important because that's where you'll be able to spot the highest number of objects and constellations in the skies. 8-9:30pm; adults, $5-10; kids, free Admission for these viewing nights is free. Here are some of the best spots within a two-hour drive of Philly with good dark skies. Click the link to get answers on telescopes, binoculars, astrophotography, observing techniques, astrophysics, and "getting started". If you're interested in helping correct the problem of light pollution, consider installing motion detectors on any of your outdoor lights so they turn off when there's no one around. Like others on this list, it’s managed by the Physics and Astronomy department. "If you go into New Jersey and drive down [Route] 42 to Route 55, and go down Route 55 before branching off to Route 40, it gets pretty dark," Pitts said. To submit your own club, museum, observatory, planetarium or special-interest group, please use our Clubs & Organizations submission form . Eastern Unversity operates Bradstreet Observatory on their campus in Saint David, about a 45-minute drive from downtown Philadelphia. This 80-acre park might not cover a large space, but it does offer the unique opportunity to go stargazing in the Okefenokee Swamp, the countryâs largest blackwater swamp. If the weather isn't cooperating, the groups usually pick one to two rain dates for events. Not all observatories may be open to the public. Philadelphia Weather: Sleet Mix Falling In And Around City As Heavy Snow Continues In Western SuburbsPrecipitation is likely to commence for most by mid-afternoon, become heavy in â¦ Lots of Philly locals who love stargazing say that the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge is a great stargazing spot. The two numbers at the top of a column is the time. 2000 Belmont Mansion Dr, Philadelphia, phila.gov. Website. If your kids are curious about the vastness of the universe but you're not quite readyâor they're not quite old enoughâfor stargazing beyond the backyard, check out one of the following national or state parks. Don Knabb uses an app on his iPad for a real-time look at the constellations during a stargazing event with the Chester County Astronomical Society at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve in Avondale, Pa., on Sept. 29, 2018. Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania. Most astronomers said that you really don't need that much to get started — just a lawn chair, a pair of binoculars, a star chart (there are many online versions that you can print out), and a warm blanket. Stein said that more often, the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society visits properties of families and friends for open spaces. Plan ahead and reserve a campsite to enjoy dark skies and good stargazing too! "But the best spots are open areas without tall buildings and trees, where you can see the horizon and the sky a bit better. Another university-operated observatory, the Villanova Public Observatory is located in the Mendel Science Center on the Villanova campus. This remote park is one of the best places to stargaze on the East Coast and is one of the few International Dark Sky Parks in the U.S. For the sake of stargazing, keep your flashlight angled to the ground or use a red light filter to help protect the skies. You need to go a bit away from Pune to have a good view. If you’re visiting Philadelphia during a cloudy spell or only want to explore during the day, you’re still in luck. This is just far enough to escape some of the worst light pollution in the city. This will maximize your stargazing time and minimize your time stuck in traffic. Libraries. Founded in 2004 by amateur astronomers with the goal of sharing astronomy with the others, Skies Unlimited seeks to help people navigate the astronomy world with advice and experience. Pittsburgh Home of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Observatory of the University of Pittsburgh . Can You See the Milky Way in Philadelphia? Astronomers are more than happy to answer any questions and make recommendations for gear. Wednesday, November 4 â Moon passes the Shoe-Buckle Cluster (all night) After it rises in the â¦ Every member of our team is an active amateur astronomer, with both professional and personal experience to draw from while working with you. The issue is that if you do and try and plan time at a park, most of our parks close at dusk.". Experts are standing by to answer your astronomy questions! You can find contact info to learn more about upcoming public viewing nights on the Eastern University site (linked below). There are 14 astronomical observatories in the state of Pennsylvania that feature professional telescopes used for astronomy research. While you might not expect a big city like Philadelphia to have good stargazing spots, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. She decided to start the site after realizing how many friends and family had never seen the Milky Way, and that space tourism was going to unlock the next great travel destination: space! Math Physics Astronomy Library. He also cautioned against heading to the Jersey Shore for observing night skies because of the boardwalks' bright lights, despite the commonly held belief that you'll be able to see more if you look out across the ocean. It also is one of the only parks in the state to specifically list star gazing as an activity. The Franklin Institute Science Museum is located in the heart of Philly. Because it occurs near the winter solstice, when the Sun is in view for the shortest period of the year, the Moon is in the sky longer than any other full Moon of the year. (For that reason, she also recommended printing a star chart beforehand and staying away from phone screens. Pocket Universe ($2.99) and Stellarium ($2.99) are reliable ones for iPhone and Android users. ... Astronomy Gifts. Globe at Night, in particular, is a website that tracks how bad light pollution is around the world through data submitted by citizens. It takes a full two hours to reach Naylor Observatory from Philadelphia. ), "In cooler months, you'll also need to bundle up in scarves, coats, and jackets," Dwight Dulsky, the copresident of the Bucks-Montgomery Astronomical Association, said. If you live in the Philly area, you’ve likely heard of the Illuminated Fountains Performances at Longwood Gardens. ", "It's really hard in the city to find good spots," Stein said. Cherry Springs State Parkin Coudersport simply must be at the top of your stargazing bucket list. One of the best ways to get started in stargazing is by attending events organized by local astronomy clubs. But these mesmerizing, star-filled skies are JUST the beginning. ", Aside from that, Stein also suggested looking for a place with higher elevation because that contributes to a clear horizon. As part of the National Park Service system, you can access the Delaware Water Gap Natural Recreation Area to enjoy hiking, boating, and more. It will help you identify spots that are darker than others. If you’re hoping for clear skies so you can go stargazing in Philly, you might be surprised: every month has between 7-10 days of rain. Read on to learn about these stargazing spots in greater detail, and to find addresses and websites to plan your stargazing trips. They might not feel the enormity of the universe, but young skygazers might be awed by the size and scope of the amazing views. There are also plenty of ways for you to contribute data to research by professional astronomers while you're out there looking at the night sky. This means you can enjoy watching the stars come out while you listen to music. Join us in 2019 for a monthly evening of âout of this worldâ astronomy activities hosted by Franklin Institute Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts. On the weekends during the months of May to October, they have a nightly fountain show with lights… and after the show has ended is a perfect time to do some stargazing from this area. In a change of direction but not function, the Peter van de Kamp Observatory is located at Swarthmore College â and it’s only a 35-minute drive southwest from downtown. The Observatory houses the largest telescope in the city, and they hold open houses roughly twice per month. Readers asked us where they can go stargazing in the area through Curious Philly, our new question-and-response forum that allows you to submit questions about your community you want us to look into. Check titles for show times. However, unlike most observatories, you’ll need to make a reservation for one of the public sessions in advance (they recommend 3-4 months in advance!) On Android, you can also explore SkEye and Sky Map. Every Thursday, we'll send you ways to help you live better and stay connected while we’re social distancing. While you might not expect a big city like Philadelphia to have good stargazing spots, youâll be pleasantly surprised. Bea Mazziotta of Broomall, PA at a telescope during a stargazing event with the Chester County Astronomical Society at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve in Avondale, PA on Sept. 29, 2018. The stargazing parties held by the Seattle Astronomical Society at places like Green Lake in the city and Rattlesnake Ledge a short ways outside of it out of it are fun way to learn about our the planets and constellations. "You also want to look for a wide horizon," Don Knabb, the observing chair for the Chester County Astronomical Society, said, referencing a view that has no obstructions. Find campsites in places where dark sky experts predict the least amount of light pollution.. Cherry Springs State Park is without a doubt the premiere stargazing destination in the state. The months with the least rain/clouds are the best times for dark, clear skies: August, September, and October are ideal months for stargazing in Philadelphia. Explore the night sky with cutting-edge astronomical presentations in the awe-inspiring Fels Planetarium. It has campsites, so Stein recommended reserving one so you're not asked to leave the area at dusk. Attribution for original 2001 data: P. Cinzano, F. Falchi (University of Padova), C. D. Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder). The planetarium features shows like “The Search for Life in Space,” “Asteroid: Mission Extreme,” “The Sky Tonight,” and “To Space & Back.” In short, you can get a great view of the night sky without needing to leave town or try and find a dark spot in the city. ", (Celestron makes a reliable pair of 7×50 binoculars and 15×70 binoculars, both of which you can purchase on Amazon. 670 Observatory Drive, Lewisberry, astrohbg.com. While it might be tedious â backyard stargazing is pretty great and convenient â, if you’re willing to drive up to an hour out of Philly, you’ll be astounded at how much more you can see in the sky. Weather is also another factor — going out on a night with low humidity means that you'll be able to see more because there are fewer clouds. "You want to look for a pair of binoculars that's 7×50," Pitts said. August is especially good, what with warmer weather and the Perseids meteor shower. Do you have other questions about stargazing in Philadelphia? Haverford College, Walton Ln, Ardmore, haverford.edu. Clouds moved in to cause an early end to the evening. Harvard is a little way out for many of us, but that's exactly why stargazing is so special there. At Astronomy Night on August 16th, visitors will gather on the Fruitlands' hillside to learn more about the stars, planets, and moon from high school science and astronomy teacher, Alfonso Navarro. Cherry Springs State Park is world-famous for being one the best places in the USA for stargazing and the study of astronomy. On those nights, you can ascend to the roof of one of the Drexel buildings for an evening of guided observation. Currently their membership consists of over 240 organizations across the United States. Amazon workers plan Black Friday strikes and protests. According to Renee Stein, the executive director of the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society, one of the best spots for dark skies is Wharton State Forest in New Jersey. MORE: Camp â¦ The society's events are often open to the public (check its website for upcoming events). It’s also only 90 minutes by car from downtown Philadelphia (without traffic), so it’s an ideal spot to plan a beach trip with a side of stargazing. The park boasts more than 15 miles of shoreline that's both great for sunbathing and stargazing. The colors of the blocks are the colors from CMC's forecast maps for that hour. Featured photo credit: jean-baptistefournier via Flickr. A spot near the summit of Piney Mountain, used by the Chesmont Astronomical Society and called DS-3. Saturn rise and set in Philadelphia. The Franklin Institute hosts a Citywide Star Party as part of the Philadelphia Science Festival each year. (Local time for Philadelphia is â¦ 800 E. Lancaster Ave, Villanova, villanova.edu. "Most people already have a pair lying around in their house. "But if you go stargazing with an astronomy group, many longtime astronomers will bring their telescopes for you to look through," he added. The Joel N. Bloom Observatory has several telescopes that allow you to view the sun, moon, planets, and other objects in our solar system and beyond. If you do want a telescope, Dulsky said that you shouldn't pay less than $300 for one of decent quality. French Creek State Park is a sprawling green space with lakes, trails, and more. Designated as Pennsylvania's only official "Dark Sky Park," it is a coveted area for both professional astronomers and starstruck lovers alike. The following, partial list of parks aims to give a head start in your search. Other parks also have night sky programs, so be sure to check with your park if you are interested. Those spots are hard to come by because you have to go to parks or college campuses. Putting shades that point downward on lightbulbs outside can also help. But at the end of the night, keeping an open mind is the most important quality to a good stargazing session. Clouds moved in to cause an early end to the evening. Best Times of Year to Go Stargazing in Philadelphia. Read on to learn about these stargazing spots in greater detail, and to find addresses and websites to plan your stargazing trips. Dark Sky Sites in Pennsylvania Astronomy clubs often use dark sky sites as their preferred viewing locations if nearby. "The darkest place in the area is Lake Nockamixon [in Bucks County]," Lee Zagar, the copresident of the Bucks-Montgomery Astronomical Association, said. 8 great bike ride routes in search of food and beer around Philadelphia, 11 cool places to check out at the Bok building (that aren’t the bar), West Philly skate park offers adult classes, Bucks-Montgomery Astronomical Association, California residents do not sell my data request. Taping red cellophane over a flashlight keeps your eyes from fluctuating back and forth between day and night vision. ), Stein also recommended having a red light or a piece of red cellophane on hand because white light from flashlights and phone screens messes up your night vision. Backyard Guide To The Night Sky. As part of The Franklin Institute's health and safety protocols, seating in the Fels Planetarium is limited. Like Widener Observatory, the primary function of Bradstreet Observatory is for academic study and research. The Franklin Institute hosts monthly stargazing events on Tuesdays (you have to buy $10 tickets in advance), during which attendees can see planetarium shows and a live astronomy show, participate in hands-on activities, and look at the skies through the museum's telescope. Two hours from Philadelphia by car, Delaware Water Gap is a slice of protected land where you can escape the city and enjoy some nature. For the most part, the observatory is used for academic research. Astronomy enjoyment, outreach and education. In addition to solar viewings at the Franklin Institute, you can visit the planetarium there (website). But as the weather cools and the clouds clear up, scouring the night skies for meteors, planets, and constellations can be rewarding if you're patient and knowledgeable. It takes right around an hour to get to French Creek State Park, but it’s worth the drive to reach this enclave of dark skies so close to a city like Philadelphia. The lack of development that reduces light pollution and makes for great stargazing conditions. December 30: Moon and Pollux. Clouds moved in to cause an early end to the evening. Bonus! I am interested in observing nigh sky, planets, and stars within tri-state area. Many national parks offer night sky programs, from telescope astronomy events to full moon walks with rangers. 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