Observing Reports

Vovici Online Survey Software

Vovici Online Survey Software

observing

The Midlands Astronomy Club holds private monthly observing sessions away from city lights to provide the opportunity for learning and observing the night sky under some of the darkest skies in the Midlands. The observing sessions also provide members with the chance to observe 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.

We schedule Primary and an Alternate observing sessions each month on Saturdays closest to the last quarter and new moon phases. Dates are posted each month in the meeting announcement box on our home page. If you are not a current member but are interested in observing under dark skies, contact us to arrange a time. We would be happy to invite you to join us!

We also hold public observing events (sidewalk astronomy) each month on the Saturday closest to the first quarter moon phase. These events are typically held somewhere where there tends to be a lot of foot traffic, such as a local restaurant, to allow passers-by the chance to observe the sun, moon, planets, and some of the brighter deep-sky objects.

observing sites

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.

  • MAC-Hunter: Private site. Observing by invitation only.

  • MAC-Johnson: Private site. Observing by invitation only.

  • 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.
    Directions: 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