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Bok Tower Gardens Hosts 2009 Star Gaze November 19
by Cassie Jacoby
November 15, 2009

Bok Tower Gardens will host the 2009 Star Gaze to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the telescope November 19 beginning at 5:30 p.m., weather permitting, with November 20 as the backup date. The astronomy class at Webber International University will have at least seven telescopes available for use. Admission will be half-price, $5 for adults and $1.50 for ages 5-12. Call 863-734-1221 or email  to purchase prepaid tickets.

“We have an ideal location away from city light pollution where telescopes will be set up in an open field near the Visitor Center,” says Pirjo Restina, the Gardens’ curator of education. “Students from the astronomy class and several local amateur astronomers will manage each telescope and explain the different types of deep sky objects you will see.”

At this time of the month when only the thin crescent moon will fill the sky with light, more than a thousand stars should be visible at any given time as well as the planet Jupiter; Albireo, a double star in the constellation Cygnus and the “Double Cluster,” two open star clusters near the constellation Cassiopeia. Other stellar sights include “The Keystone Cluster,” the globular star cluster in Hercules. A short introduction by Karl Gould of WIU at the Visitor Center will precede the field observation.

Gates open at 5 p.m. to explore the observation area while it’s still light and become familiar with focusing the eyepiece. Bring a small red light flashlight that can be made by placing a sheet of red plastic over the front lens of a standard AA flashlight. A small folding chair, blankets and insect repellent are also recommended. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 863-676-1408, extension 2225 to find out if the event will be rescheduled for November 20. Visit  for more information.

About Bok Tower Gardens:

Bok Tower Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and voted Florida’s Best Garden by readers of Florida Monthly magazine, is located 55 miles southwest of Orlando and 60 miles east of Tampa in rolling hills of citrus near Lake Wales. Open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., last admission is at 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Café and Gift Shop are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information contact Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales, Florida 33853; 863-676-1408 or visit

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