Thinking about going to Orlando, Fl next year and may observe or do astrophotography there. Hope to photograph galaxies and so will need dark skies. Are there dark sites reasonably close to the city there? If so, what are the popular ones? Is there a good percentage of clear days or is it mostly rainy down there? Thanks
Popular dark site near Orlando, Fl?
Posted 07 October 2019 - 09:47 PM
Kissimee has a dark sky park. Don't remember how far it is between Orlando and Kissimee and don't have a map available. I grew up in Florida in the 50's and 60's but there's way more people there now than there was back then. I find it hard to believe you can find dark skies anywhere in Fla., but apparently you can. I'm sure you will see light domes in most directions.
Posted 07 October 2019 - 10:04 PM
Orlando and most of central Florida is awash in LP. The Kissimmee Prairie Preserve state park is the international dark sky park. Unfortunately, it is around two hours from Orlando, between Sebring and the Florida Turnpike. You can reserve a camp site in the park. I've stayed in the regular campground once. There are supposed to be astronomy camp sites as well, but I haven't used them. It was pretty dark.
Posted 07 October 2019 - 10:12 PM
Also, camping in Florida is pure misery from around May through mid October. These tend to be the more cloudy months too, though it can be cloudy anytime. At least winter brings the occasional cold fronts that clear the sky and bring pleasant or even chilly weather. Bring plenty of mosquito repellent.
Posted 08 October 2019 - 12:14 AM
There is the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve as mentioned above. There is also the Chiefland Astronomy Village. Both are about two hours away but in opposite directions. You should contact the Central Florida Astronomical Society for recommendations. http://www.cfas.org
Posted 08 October 2019 - 04:33 PM
One more thing about Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. Like in most state parks, I'm pretty certain that you have to be a paying guest in the campground to be there at night.