Join us on April 22nd at 6:00 p.m. for our next public meeting & observing night. The current gate closure time is 7 p.m. After that time, a code is needed for park entry.

“Experience the Universe at Charlie Elliott”

Directions to Charlie Elliott

Charlie Elliott Astronomy Meeting & Observing

April 22 at 6 p.m.

This Month — A double-feature for you this month as we meet at 6 p.m., on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center Campbell Aquatics Building when we present Greg Bragg, a longtime supporter of amateur astronomy here in metro Atlanta as specialty accounts sales manager for Celestron, and Georgia State University graduate student Aman Kar!

Meeting Agenda — First, we’ll have opening remarks and general introductions by our club director Steve Siedentop for the benefit of newcomers. Then another most informative presentation of what’s up in the sky this (and part of next) month by Observing Supervisor Dennis Ruzeski.  And we’re also open to those who wish to share any of their own observing experiences or questions.

Following that will be Greg Bragg, whose presentation about the newly released Sky-Watcher “CQ350 Pro” telescope mount is sure to whet the appetite of those in the market for this extremely desirable piece of equipment. Note that Sky-Watcher is a sister company to Celestron and has designed the CQ350 Pro Mount to be a serious contender for beginning and experienced astro-imagers alike. This observatory-class powerhouse of a mount is portable enough for field use while also delivering top-quality performance so you can capture the beauty of the night sky. If you are looking for a mount that can support large OTAs and accessories like guiders, filters, cameras and more, then look no further! The Sky-Watcher CQ350 Pro mount has an impressive 77 lb. payload capacity with built-in USB PC control and a hand controller for versatile mount control options. Get the most out of your imaging sessions with the CQ350 Pro GoTo Equatorial mount from Sky-Watcher!

Greg himself has appeared at many CE astronomy club meetings in the past and is a familiar face to longtime attendees of the club. His professional career started off in the 1970s selling cameras at a K-Mart; in 1978 he joined Wolf Camera and later went on to positions with Meade Telescopes, Explore Scientific, Pentax, and (since 2019) Celestron. Greg has attended a total of 112 star parties across the United States, including our own Peach State Star Gaze.

Following Greg will be Aman Kar, a third year astronomy graduate student at GSU. whose presentation will cover potential stars that may host exoplanets. In his own words, Aman says the following: “My interest in astronomy started at a very young age when Indian-American astronauts like Kalpana Chawla flew on the Space Shuttle Program. During my early education stages, images from the Hubble Space Telescope were widespread and extremely popular in India and this had me fascinated and intrigued. Before I even started high school, I knew that I wanted a career in Astronomy. I spent many nights during my undergraduate years taking images of stars and identifying potential candidates that may host exoplanets around them. Now in the era of missions like TESS, there have been several thousands exoplanets discovered which begs the need to find those that have potential to sustain life. My research in graduate school has been focused on finding these habitable systems that are within our solar neighborhood.”

Following the close of Aman’s talk (and weather-permitting), we’ll head out (by car) to the nearby Jon Wood Astronomy Field; all are invited to bring your own telescopes or binoculars or at least your interest in astronomy. Sunset on our meeting night will be at 8:12 p.m. and the Elliott Trail sliding gate for incoming traffic closes at 7 p.m., so be sure to be on the observing field before then. The sooner, the better. Club members already have the Elliott Trail gate lock digital combination, others should be on the field by 7 p.m. The gate opens automatically for all exiting traffic no matter what time it is.

Location, Location, Location — To find the Campbell Aquatics Building:

  • Head to Mansfield on Hwy 11,
  • Turn off Hwy 11 onto Marben Farm Road (just south of Mansfield),
  • Go past Elliott Trail (it will be on the right),
  • Turn right onto Murder Creek Church Road,
  • Go  past the camping sites on your left to the Campbell Aquatics Building a bit further up the road on the left.

About Us — The Charlie Elliott Astronomy Club is a chapter of the Atlanta Astronomy Club, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt educational organization chartered by the state of Georgia in October 1963; donations of funds or items to the Charlie Elliott chapter or the AAC itself are tax-deductible. As such, our meetings and observing sessions are free and open to the public, though membership is invited. Please return here daily for any further updates.

Observing on the Jon Wood Astronomy Field

Please refrain from using white lights on the observing field to preserve night vision. Red lights are readily available at department and sporting goods stores in the Atlanta area. As stated above all are invited, however, to bring their own telescopes or binoculars or at least their interest in astronomy.

A Few Items to Note…

  • Plan to treat this outing like you would a camping trip and be prepared.  Dress appropriately for the weather and the environment, bring snacks and drinks if needed, and plan to take your garbage with you.  There is a regularly serviced Porta-Potty on Jon Wood Astronomy Field.
  • The main gate on Elliott Trail closes to new entry at 7 p.m., but will automatically open for exiting traffic at all times.  Therefore, if you plan to observe on the Jon Wood Astronomy Field, please arrive before 7 p.m. or else make arrangements with a club member for access.

For more information about Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, visit

Downloads from the Last Meeting


Our Monthly Meetings and Public Observing Nights

Our monthly meetings and public observing nights are free and open to the public. Our meeting, observing, and outreach schedule is updated as-needed and can be reached by clicking on the “Our Calendar” tab at the top of this page. Start times vary throughout the year so please check back frequently for details.

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All Charlie Elliott Astronomy events are free and open to the public and you don’t have to be a member to attend our meetings or join us on Jon Wood Astronomy Field.  However, we would encourage you to consider a yearly paid membership for less than the cost of a couple of pizzas.  Your membership dues allow us to continue our science outreach programs in area schools and youth organizations, merit badge programs with area Scout Troops, and allow us to maintain the facilities on Jon Wood Astronomy Field.  To become a member, you can fill out our Membership Form or contact an officer.  March is membership renewal month. If you are renewing your membership, no form is necessary.

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Charlie Elliott Astronomy, serving the Atlanta area and East Middle Georgia, is a chapter of the Atlanta Astronomy Club, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to promoting the public knowledge of and interest in astronomy. Donations support our outreach programs, equipment expense, and educational materials.