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Free stargazing event coming to Hanna Park

There will be a laser pointer tour of the night sky to see stars, planets, the Moon, and interesting sky objects.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — All eyes will be on the sky during a free stargazing event at Hanna Park hosted by the Northeast Florida Astronomical Society (NEFAS).

On Feb. 12, the society will have dedicated solar telescopes set up to observe solar phenomena safely while the sun is still up. At night, they will have a laser pointer tour of the night sky to see stars, planets, the Moon, and interesting sky objects.

NEFAS says the public is invited and welcome to join in on the fun.

The event will be hosted at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park located at 500 Wonderwood Drive, Jacksonville.

Be mindful that Hanna Park entry fee is $5 per car and you must have paid and entered no later than 7:30 p.m. when the gate entrance is closed for the evening. There will not be re-entry once you leave the park.

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Find NEFAS in Parking Lot #8. Limit your use of vehicle headlights whenever possible during stargazing hours. Bring red lights if you have them.

There are restrooms, water fountain, but few lights. You may wish to bring a flashlight for the restrooms. Consider bug spray in case it is needed, but be mindful of any insecticide over-spray that may reach telescope equipment and apply in another location.

All NEFAS volunteers will be bringing their personal stargazing equipment and will instruct guests how to look at the sky objects safely and without damage to stargazing equipment. 

If you are considering purchasing a telescope, NEFAS says this is an opportunity to examine several types and sizes of telescopes.

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