Our next observing night will be March 13th

“Experience the Universe at Charlie Elliott”

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Charlie Elliott Astronomy on March 13, 2021:

A Virtual Meeting with a Celestial Mapmaker!

Same-Day Observing at CEWC

(February 8, 2021) With two great and successful online programs behind us now (nearly 3,000 Facebook viewers for the February event alone!) we now invite all to join us on Saturday, March 13, when we will feature Wil Tirion, whose beautiful sky maps have graced the pages of numerous publications for many years.

Just like our previous programs, the program begins at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, with a short presentation by Fernbank’s planetary geologist Scott Harris. Following that will be a few remarks by Mike Shaw, director of the Charlie Elliott Astronomy Club about our club and its parent organization, the Atlanta Astronomy Club. Afterwards, Wil Tirion will have control of the screen to present his personal account of the history of star charts through the years.

IMPORTANT! Members of the Charlie Astronomy Club and its parent organization, the Atlanta Astronomy Club, who wish to participate at Saturday’s CE Astronomy program during the question-and-answer session after the talk should e-mail Ken Poshedly (poshedly@bellsouth.net) as soon as possible. Your requests will be forwarded to Scott Harris of the Fernbank Science Center, who will then send a Zoom link to you a day or two prior to the event. There is a 100-person maximum limit for those who wish to use Zoom for this event. All others are invited to view by way of https://www.facebook.com/fernbankcenter Scroll down that page, then click on the visual link to the event. Comments can be made during the talk via the “Chat” feature.

Wil Tirion appeared in person at the Atlanta Astronomy Club’s 2002 Peach State Star Gaze after missing the 2001 event due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks which occurred one day before his scheduled arrival. (All subsequent air travel was halted for some time.) World-known for his “Sky Atlas 2000.0″ and other publications, Wil had no special education in astronomy. Instead, it was his hobby – like ours. From the time he was a little boy, he was interested in the subject. He received his first astronomy book (with “a nice fold-out map”) when he was age 12. “That is when my interest in stellar cartography (uranography) started.” After working on various sky maps for various publishers as a hobby, he decided to quit his job in 1983 and started working as a full time Uranographer.
Wil Tirion Since then, Wil has branched out from doing just star charts and illustrations. Since 2010, he’s been doing the layout and typsetting for books, starting with the 4th Edition of “The Cambridge Star Atlas”, followed soon by a new edition of Milton Heifetz’ book “A Walk Through The Heavens”. In 2013, HarperCollins asked Storm Dunlop to write an astronomical yearbook and again, he was asked to do the charts and illustrations, as well as the layout/typesetting. That yearbook, “2014 Guide to the Night Sky”, was well-received, leading to a North American edtion being added in 2016 and in 2019 a southern edition followed. Wil is now hard at work on the 2022 editions.

A number of books he did in the ‘80’s and the beginning of the ‘90’s were re-done digitally, and a few new atlases for Cambridge University Press were published including “The Cambridge Double Star Atlas” (1st and 2nd edition) and “The Cambridge Atlas of Herschel Objects”, plus many more.

Observing on the Jon Wood Astronomy Field

With Wil Tirion’s presentation wrapping up by 2:30 p.m., we will have — weather permitting –  another informal observing event that same evening, March 13, 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 6:41 p.m., so those with scopes and related equipment to set up should plan on an earlier arrival. In consideration of any astro-imagers, astronomical dusk ends at 8:04 p.m. Note that Daylight Saving Time will be in effect, thus the much later sunset and dusk times.

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.

Also, this will be an INFORMAL gathering  and will NOT include any club business or activities. Just observing.

Note that the Elliott Trail automatic road gate closes for incoming traffic at 5 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 5 p.m. Club members who may arrive after 5 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! Face masks are recommended at ALL CE astronomy in-person events and we remind all attendees that the CDC’s 6-foot social distancing requirement remains in effect — even on the Jon Wood Astronomy Field. Note also that NO refreshments are served, so bring your own.

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.

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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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