Observing Sessions are also monthly, and we usually schedule two dates for these. A primary date, and if that is clouded out, a secondary date. In case both nights are clouded out, we sometimes have a Cloudy Night Session (TBA) where we get together and compare astronomy computer programs or build various pieces of equipment. The observing sessions are located at sites away from city lights and provide the opportunity for learning and observing the night sky. Observing sessions also provide MAC members with the chance to view through a wide variety of telescopes. If you are considering purchasing a telescope, or other equipment, this is the best chance to try before you buy. Telescope owners are delighted to have you look through their instruments and to discuss the pros and cons of various types and designs. By the way, owning a telescope is not required to be a member of the club!! Twice each year MAC also has a combination observing session and cookout.
Over the years, MAC has had access to several public and private sites for observing. Unfortunately, over time, many of the sites have become unsuitable.
The Congaree Swamp site:
This location is a possible site for a quick trip after work on any clear night in the winter. It is a 20 mile trip from Columbia and somewhat dark. Contact Paul R for further info.
Directions: Congaree Swamp Site
I-77 to Bluff Rd. east. Turn Rt on to Mt. View Rd. Rt at Old Bluff Rd. Left on National Park Rd. The out parking area is to the left just before the park gate which may be locked at 5 pm.
An alternate route uses the Sumter highway to Old Hopkins rd. Then right over the railroad track a little over a block on Lower Richland drive then left on Clarkson Rd which has a sign for Hopkins Middle school. Clarkson Rd. crosses Bluff Rd and becomes Mt.View.
Google Map of the Out parking lot and camping field
MAC-Hunter: Private site, observing by invitation only
MAC-Durieux: (formerly known as MAC-Parnell) Private site, observing by invitation only