This is a virtual, locationless geocache. There is no box to find, but we think you'll have fun participating in a geocaching adventure of astronomical proportions. After all the time you've spent looking down at your GPS receiver, this geocache will give you a chance to start looking up!
Go here to learn about the Syracuse Astronomical Society, and its observatory at Darling Hill. It's on Strong Road, off Route 80, just west of Tully, New York.
The website for Sky & Telescope magazine has a galaxy of resources for amateur astronomers. If you're new to astronomy, start out with binoculars, rather than a telescope. Binoculars are useful for many other recreational activities, so they're a good investment. Buy a pair the higher-quality BAK-4 prisms. Skip the zoom models because they generally have inferior optics. Astronomers like the 7x50 and 10x50 sizes. You may prefer something smaller, but large objective lenses gather more light. Those big 50mm lenses will show you more stars!
Here are the rules to log this locationless geocache:
1. Visit an astronomical observatory (not a planetarium), and use your GPS receiver to make a waypoint as close as possible to the observatory building. Your coordinates must be on the observatory property. When you submit your log, be sure to fill in the boxes for the lat-longitude coordinates. Identify the observatory's location by street address, city, and state. Include the name of the observatory in your log report, and if it has a website, please include the url.
Note: an observatory is NOT a planetarium. At an observatory you'll see real stars. At a planetarium, you won't. If you want to log a planetarium, visit this geocache: Plethoric Planetaria. And please don't log a marine or meteorological observatory. This geocache theme is about stars - not weather.
2. Take a photo that shows you, your GPS and the observatory. This photo should include an official sign bearing the observatory's name as proof of its identity. Take a second photo that shows a wider view of the observatory building. Two or three photos should be enough to share the story of your visit. Only original photos taken during your visit will qualify. Upload the photos immediately after submitting your log report. Logs without the required GPS confirmation photo will be deleted. You may add links to the observatory's website to enhance your log, but not in place of original photos. See the photos on this page for examples.
3. You may log only one observatory visit for this cache, and that observatory may appear only once on this cache page. Please check the full list of logs to make sure you are the only player to log your particular observatory. Duplicates will be deleted. Now go have some fun looking up. FYI, the Perseids meteor shower is coming up around August 12th, and you won't need a telescope or binoculars to see them. They'll be all over the sky!