Information regarding star gazing observations held
at Battery Worth in the FortPickens Campground area.
Summer camp sites should be reserved well in
advance if you plan to attend the June through August stargazes, approximately
every other week during the summer. Reservations fill up quickly.
If you plan to camp, reserve Early. GulfIslands National Seashore
takes reservations 5 months in advance. To make a reservation, call
1-800-365-2267. When asked for the first three letters of the camp for
which you are reserving a camping area, type in G U L for Ft. Pickens
campsites. For more information on Ft.Pickens camping (facilities,
fire circles, grills, etceteras), call Ft.Pickens Campground
Registration at: (850) 934-2622.
For more than 30
years, Escambia Amateur Astronomers' Association, has, in
conjunction with the Interpretation staff at Ft. Pickens, conducted annual stargazes during the summer
months. These stargazes are preceded by a program held at the Battery Worth
Amphitheater (see map of Ft.
Pickens--the right-hand turn is the first turn after you pass the camp store,
also on the right-hand side of the road). The program, beginning at , consists of a slide presentation,
constellation and bright star identification, planet identification, and
satellite watches. Meteor showers are a bonus in August. Free star maps are
distributed to those in attendance.
All you need to bring is: bug spray (mosquitoes the size of a Piper Cub), long
pants or a towel to sit on (log benches), and closed shoes (sandspurs--if you
haven't experienced sandspurs...well....imagine a miniature spike ball with
needle-sharp, barbed spikes that hurt as though you
were locally poisoned once they get some of their many barbs into you...Florida
has interesting flora, to say the least!). Binoculars or small telescopes are
your option--for meteor and satellite watching, tilt-back, folding chaise
lounges are nice (and a small cooler with iced soda pop and snacks).
Optical instruments other than your naked eye are of little use during the
Perseid Meteor Shower, unless you want to do some traditional astronomical
Following the program,
which lasts about 30 - 40 minutes, EAAA club members will have telescopes of
varying types and sizes set up on the beach side of the Battery Worth parking lot
near the rest rooms. You may stay as long as you like. Telescopes will be set
on planets, double stars, nebulae, open or globular clusters, or other
interesting celestial objects.