Our next meeting will be November 14th

“Experience the Universe at Charlie Elliott”

Directions to Charlie Elliott

Charlie Elliott Astronomy Meeting & Observing

on November 14, 2020

(Tech-Talk at 3 p.m., Meeting/Program at 3:30 p.m.)

(October 23, 2020) Sometimes, while fiddling with our imaging paraphernalia, laptop computers and high-priced scopes, it might be a good idea to once in awhile actually look up at the soon-to-be winter skies with only our naked eyes to appreciate what the ancient peoples saw. They, who attributed practically every natural activity to one god or goddess or another, believed that the heavens were where their gods and goddesses resided and it was also where those who died and were favored by those deities were placed. And how they got up there became the subjects of a myriad of myths, that is, made-up stories that “explained” the heavens.

November is a transition month for night sky observing with three popular star groups dominating the heavens: Andromeda, Cassiopeia and Pisces.

And who better to explain the “real” story of not only these three constellations but others that connect with them will be Phil Sacco. It is he who will be our star guide when the Charlie Elliott Astronomy Club meets again at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 14, at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center’s Campbell Aquatics Building.

Prior to Phil’s talk, however, and to take advantage of the Sun’s position (weather permitting), we will first feature a special segment for those of you who favor solar observing.

At 3 p.m. — thirty-minutes before the official meeting start time — Greg Bragg of Celestron will be with us to demonstrate the new Sky-Watcher SolarQuest solar tracking mount. A friend to Atlanta amateur astronomers for many years and who has appeared at the Peach State Star Gaze nine times, Greg will also talk about some new products that Celestron will have just announced prior to our meeting date.

From the Sky-Watcher online product description: “The Sky-Watcher SolarQuest solar tracking mount is lightweight and ridiculously easy to use. No need to worry about aligning your equipment the night before or early in the morning. Using its patented HelioFind solar finder and built-in GPS, SolarQuest autolevels and calculates the azimuth and altitude of the Sun, all with the single push of a button. Once self-aligned, the mount locates and tracks the Sun for hours at a time. SolarQuest is perfect for eclipse chasers or anyone fascinated with our closest star.”

There’s also a Sky-Watcher overview of the SolarQuest mount on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ro3uX9zBCs plus a few other videos about the device there as well.

A member of the AAC since the mid-1990s, Phil Sacco has served not only as a club officer but as the Peach State Star Gaze “walk-and-talk” star guide guy during its days at Indian Springs State Park.

Phil describes his upcoming talk: “More than gods and goddesses, this time of year, the heavens are filled with normal people becoming something more than themselves and entering into the age of legend and heroes and heroines.  We have creatures, magical beings, and epic personalities clashing in epic tales and claiming for all time their place in the heavens.  Learning to identify them with the naked eye will take a fledgling astronomer far in learning their way around the heavens.

“Also on parade overhead during November are several of the lesser known iconic constellations from the dawn of man.  Each one tells a story of human development and for such are memorialized in the heavens.”

Covid Requirements

IMPORTANT1 Face masks are required and we remind all attendees that the CDC’s 6-foot social distancing requirement remains in effect. If the attendance reaches a certain point, we will meet under the covered area just outside the Campbell building. Note also that NO refreshments will be served, so bring your own.

All of the Above

And finally, our valued observing coordinator David Whalen will be on hand with his very entertaining and informative narration (with video and even some music as well) about what you can see and image in the night sky this month.  He’ll cover observing targets ranging from our own solar system to distant galaxies.

Please check out our Facebook Page! There you’ll find a welcoming group  of people sharing ideas and tips as well as organizing ad-hoc observing  and imaging sessions on the Jon Wood Astronomy Field.

For those not familiar with the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, go to https://georgiawildlife.com/CharlieElliott.   The CEWC phone is 770-784-3059, Monday–Saturday 9 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.

Observing After the Meeting

All are invited to Jon Wood Astronomy Field immediately after the meeting (weather-permitting). According to the Sky Safari astronomy app, sunset at our location will be at 5:32 p.m. In consideration of the astro-imagers, astronomical dusk ends at 6:58 p.m.

As always, the event is free and open to the public. If you are not able to attend the meeting but would still like to join us on the field, contact the CEWC at the phone number above for information about the closing time of the Elliott Trail automatic road gate at Marben Farm Rd.  A special code is required to open the gate after it closes to incoming traffic; the gate opens automatically for outgoing traffic as you approach it to leave. (It is scheduled to close to incoming traffic at a 7 p.m. on November 14.)


If you have an idea for a 15 to 20-minute pre-meeting presentation about something you’ve learned or a project you’re working on, contact Steve Siedentop or Ken Poshedly.

Downloads from the Last Meeting


Our Monthly Meetings and Public Observing Nights

Observing nights for the remainder of 2020 will be held on 11/14 and 12/12 – weather permitting. The status of in-person meetings will be announced monthly as the COVID situation changes. Visit the “Our Calendar” tab at the top of the page for our 2020-2021 meeting, observing, and outreach schedule. Start times vary throught the year so please check back for details.

View our Full Calendar of all meetings & outreach events

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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.

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