Our next meeting & observing night will be June 12th

“Experience the Universe at Charlie Elliott”

Directions to Charlie Elliott

Charlie Elliott Astronomy on June 12, 2021:

An IN-PERSON Meeting with Dinner and Observing at CEWC

(May 25, 2021) What: The next regular in-person “semi-potluck dinner” meeting of the Charlie Elliott chapter of the Atlanta Astronomy Club with sky observing immediately afterwards (weather permitting).

When: 7 p.m., Saturday, June 12, 2021

Where: Campbell Aquatics Building on Murder Creek Church Rd, inside the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, just south of Mansfield, Georgia. To reach the meeting location, take Hwy 11, then turn onto Marben Farm Rd. (the entrance to the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center), then turn right onto Murder Creek Church Rd. (you will pass Elliott Trail on the right.) Follow Murder Creek Church Rd. until you reach the Aquatics Building on the left. For those using GPS to get at least TO the park, the address of the CEWC Visitor Center is 543 Elliott Trail, Mansfield, GA 30055. (Remember, this is NOT the actual meeting site.) Phone 770-784-3059 (the office closes at 4:30 p.m.)

Program: This will be our first venture back into dinner meetings, but very carefully. Thus, all are invited to bring your own meal and nonalcoholic drinks for the evening, but NO SHARING. The meeting itself will begin with welcoming remarks by Chapter Director Mike Shaw, followed by Observing Director Dave Whalen’s always factual (and entertaining) “Heavens Above” sky tour of the current month’s celestial objects. Afterwards will be the featured presentation, this month by longtime friend of Atlanta astronomy and Celestron Specialty Accounts Sales Manager Greg Bragg, whose topic will be “The State of Our Astronomy Industry”.

He describes it as answers to at least some questions on our collective minds, including: What has been happening the last 10 years or so in our industry? How big is this hobby? How many dealers are there? How many manufacturers are there? What has happened since the COVID-19 pandemic started and what can we expect going forward? How much does it cost to place a full-page ad in the astronomy magazines?

Greg’s credentials are extremely impressive and include almost 30 years in the photography industry, both in retail sales and as a manufacturer’s representative. Prior to Celestron, he has worked in various levels of sales and management with Pentax Sport Optics, Explore Scientific, Olivon USA, Meade Instruments, multiple photo industry manufacturers, Wolf Camera and Olympus Camera.

So bring your own dinner and lots of questions for Greg.

Last Month: It was just great when we met on May 8 for the following:

  • Reelection of the current slate of officers by unanimous acclamation.
  • Marie Lott’s distribution of Night Sky Network certificates and accompanying pins to awardees for their volunteering with outreach astronomy activities in 2020.
  • Dave Whalen’s always entertaining and informative “Heavens Above” review of the current celestial sights, including solar system and deep sky objects, as well as target dates for various events.
  • Amy Little (aka “Amy Astro”) with her presentation (with PowerPoint images) of her own comparison of three different light pollution filters showing the differences between the three.

“Heavens Above”

Observing Supervisor David Whalen will be on hand to discuss what you can see and image in the night sky this month.  His presentation — complete with PowerPoint and audio! — will cover observing targets ranging from our own solar system to distant galaxies. And yes, questions are encouraged!

Observing on the Jon Wood Astronomy Field

With our in-person meeting wrapping up by probably 8:30 p.m., we plan for observing immediately afterwards at the Jon Wood Astronomy Field (which is on the right, shortly after turning onto Elliott Trail from Marben Farm Rd). As always, this event is free.

According to the Sky Safari astronomy app, sunset at our location near Mansfield, Georgia, will be at 8:45 p.m., so those with scopes and related equipment should plan on an earlier arrival time for equipment set-up. In consideration of any astro-imagers, astronomical dusk ends at 10:28 p.m. Remember, Daylight Saving Time is in effect.

NOTE: It is your own responsibility to monitor the weather forecast for your own comfort and safety. Be advised to dress appropriately and have extra clothing on hand should it also be needed. There are no inside bathroom facilities, running water, electricity or warm-up buildings at this location. There is, however, a “porta-potty” at the edge of the observing field that is regularly serviced. There are indoor bathroom facilities at the Campbell Aquatics Building for those who prefer it before we head out to the Jon Wood Astronomy Field.

Note that the Elliott Trail automatic road gate closes for incoming traffic at 7 p.m. Afterwards, a five-digit combination must be entered on a keypad near the gate for it to open. That combination is available only to dues-paying Club members. Therefore, non-Club members planning to join us on the observing field should enter the park before 7 p.m. Club members who arrive after 7 p.m. and do not have the gate combination should contact a club officer at least 24 hours prior to their visit to obtain the gate combination.

The gate opens automatically for exiting traffic as you approach it to leave, no matter what time it is.

Covid Requirements

IMPORTANT! With the Covid-19 requirements of face masks and social distancing no longer in effect for those WHO HAVE BEEN VACCINATED, those practices are now voluntary for all (but still good ideas). We remind all attendees that, for the time being, you must bring your own food and drink, but NO SHARING ALLOWED — even on the Jon Wood Astronomy Field.

More About the Charlie Elliott Astronomy Club

Check out the Charlie Elliott Astronomy Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ceastronomy . 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/charlie-elliott-wildlife-center

The CEWC phone is 770-784-3059, Monday through Saturday 9 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.


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

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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Meet the Charlie Elliott Chapter Officers for 2019-2020

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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