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Bill Sadowski Park

Deering Estate

Zoo Miami


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Southern Cross Image
  • Welcome to
  • Home of the Winter Star Party
  • Astronomers of South Florida
  • Proud associates of FIU Dept of Physics

Winter Star Party Notice

Dear Winter Star Party Participants and Volunteers,

As you all know the site of Winter Star Party, Camp Wesumkee, has been severely damaged by Hurricane Irma. The reports and photos we have received paints a bleak picture for the Girl Scout Camp. With this in mind, we are considering alternative plans in order to hold Winter Star Party #34. We’ve had offers from people to volunteer their time helping to do camp clean up as well as alternate sites to hold our event. Be patient and know that we are considering all options. We’ll keep you posted on the web site as well as the wsp_florida yahoo discussion group and Facebook.

WSP update....

We are working toward opening registration for WSP 2018. Our director Mr. Tim Khan is in final talks and we will have a decision very soon. The dates will remain the same as previously noted February 12th through the 18th, 2018.


Charlie Perillo
Winter Star Party, Host Coordinator

SCAS Astros will host a free program

SCAS Astros will host a free program METEOR STRIKE, 8 p.m. FIU Physics Building lecture hall CP-145 Modesto Maidique campus. The damage from a meteor strike is mind-boggling--and this was an indirect strike! We join the search for the searing remnants embedded in a frozen lake. Lively discussions and refreshments conclude the SCAS programs. Membership items are available. Park in the campus garage, in faculty/visitors space, west side of SW 109 Ave./SW 8 St. Follow the SCAS signs across the patio into CP-145.
Southern Cross Astronomy Facebook
SCAS Hotline: 305-661-1375



Saturday evenings closest to the New Moon: October 21 - SCAS Astros invite one and all to our NEW MOON STAR PARTIES at the SCAS D'Auria Dark Sky Observatory, dusk -11 p.m. 23325 SW 217 Avenue, Homestead 33031. Bring chairs, bug repellent, binoculars and telescopes if you like. SCAS Astros will arrange hi-tech equipment focused on stunning summer constellations, Jupiter and Saturn. NO lasers, lights, litter, alcohol or pets. SCAS Observation Deck, Bill Sadowski Park, SW 176 St ./SW 79 Ave. Palmetto Bay 33157 will be closed ONLY on those dates.

Hallowe'en Star Party Cancelled 10.27,2017

Star Party

A lengthy clean up from Hurricane Irma has cancelled the Hallowe'en Star Party at Fruit & Spice Park Friday, October 27th. The SCAS Star Party will be re-scheduled.

About Us Calendar The Winter Star Party Become A Member Today!

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Cloudy Nights

SCAS STARGAZER October 2017 - Barb Yager

Lunar Timetable:

Full Moon Image
Oct 5th Full Moon 2:40pm
Last Quarter Moon Image
Oct 12th Last Quarter Moon 8:25am
New Moon Image
Oct 19th New Moon 3:12pm
First Quarter Moon Image
Oct 27th First Quarter 6:22 pm

Clear Sky Chart

Evening Skies:

  • 1st- Silver Saturn hangs in the SW between huge Scorpius (right) and the Sagittarian Teapot (left). Saturn sets by mid-evening. Jupiter fades on the western horizon and will slip into the sunset. By 11/09 Jupiter will appear on the eastern horizon about dawn.
  • 5th- The HARVEST MOON is full at 2:40 p.m.creating abnormally high tides.The Moon rises in the east before dusk and sets in the west at dawn.
  • 7th- Mars moves farthest from the Sun by 155 million miles.
  • 19th- New Moon occurs at 3:12 p.m. Blue-green Uranus, in Pisces Fish, lies opposite the Sun at 2 p.m. The outer planet rises in the SE at dusk and lies due south at midnight. Uranus will be brightest and closest to Earth this month.
  • 20th- SCAS PROGRAM: METEOR STRIKE, 8 p.m. FIU Physics lecture hall CP-145 Main campus.
  • 20th-21st- A sliver of a crescent Moon is briefly visible low in the SW. A few early Orionid Meteors may be visible late evening.
  • 22nd- At dusk the Moon leads Scorpius along the SW horizon.
  • 23rd-24th- The Moon floats near Saturn in the SW.
  • 27th- First Quarter Moon occurs at 6:22 p.m. Aim binoculars to view valleys and craters along the shadow line.
  • 30th- Mercury appears on the SW horizon to the right of Scorpius.

CONSTELLATIONS- Summer constellations drift lower in the west. The tilted Sagittarian Teapot `pours' onto the Scorpion's stinger tail on the SW horizon. Capricornus lies in the south. Grus, Crane, stretches its starry neck above the southern horizon. Cetus, Whale, swims along the SE horizon. Neptune remains in Aquarius above Fomalhaut in the south. Uranus rises in the east in Pisces. Hercules leads bright Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle westward. Three point stars of the Triangle: Vega (west) Deneb (east) and Altair in Aquila, Eagle, (south). Cygnus, Swan soars within the Triangle. In the east, Aries, Ram chases the Winged Horse (Great Square of Pegasus) toward the Zenith. The Royal Family reigns in the north: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda (holding our nearest galaxy) and Perseus, Hero. Mid-evening: Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer higher in the NE. The Seven Sisters (Pleiades) dance above the eastern horizon. Taurus, Bull appears on the NE horizon. Ruddy Aldebaran twinkles in the Hyades cluster in Taurus.

Morning Skies:

  • 1st- Brilliant Venus, Morning Star, glows 2.5 degrees above Mars in the east at dawn.
  • 5th-6th- Venus and ruddy Mars snuggle .023 degrees apart near Leo, Lion low in the east by 6:30 a.m.
  • 9th- At dawn, the Moon lies 7 degrees below Aldebaran in Taurus in the west.
  • 10th- Mars drifts 3 degrees above brilliant Venus in the east.
  • 12th- Last Quarter Moon occurs at 8:25 a.m.
  • 15th- By 6 a.m.the waning crescent Moon occults the star Regulus in Leo, Lion.
  • 17th- The thin old Moon rises in the east at dawn 2 degrees from Mars.
  • 18th- By 6:30 a.m. the Moon, Venus and Mars line up low in the east.
  • 19th/20th- At dawn, Venus and Regulus dance together above Mercury and Mars in the east.
  • 21st- The ORIONID METEOR SHOWER will be most active 4-6:30 a.m.radiating from Orion west of Zenith. From a dark sky area, 20 meteors per/hr.may be visible. The Earth passes through the dust tail of long-gone Comet Halley.
  • 29th- Venus, now in Virgo, descends toward the eastern horizon as Spica, in Virgo appears 7 degrees below Venus.

CONSTELLATIONS: Leo, Lion climbs higher in the east The Big Dipper clears the NE horizon. Bright Arcturus, a red giant, sparkles on the NE horizon.Spica, in Virgo, rises in the east below Venus.The Gemini Twins stand overhead near the Beehive cluster. Orion, Hunter chases Taurus, Bull westward. Procyon, Little Dog, follows Orion. Brilliant blue Sirius sparkles in the SW in Orion's Big Dog. Pleiades cluster shimmer near the WNW horizon.The Royal Family swings low in the NW.

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Welcome to
Home of the Winter Star Party
We Are Astronomers of South Florida
We Are Passionate about Astronomy
We are proud to be associated with the FIU Dept of Physics

"The Mission Statement of the Southern Cross Astronmical Society, Inc., is to bring astronomy to the public through education, research and enjoyable free public events, free telescope observing, improve the status, understanding and enjoyment of amateur astronomy. We are edicated, by our legacy, to provide free lectures and presentations. We encourage research and pursue a respectful attitude to discourage light pollution. We believe a beautiful starlit sky belongs to everyone. “

Duke N.Dayton, Former SCAS President

Winter Star Party Logo

Winter Star Party

Winter Skies Tropical Setting

The Winter Star Party "WSP" is a serious event designed for amateur astronomers. WSP is held annually, usually during the new moon in February. The event is unique in that it occurs mid-winter during the height of the Florida Keys tourist season. The warm weather, coupled with dark skies, and possibly the steadies skies in North America attracts attendees from all over the frozen United States, Canada, and Europe giving the event an international flavor. The amateur astronomical "get-to-together"allows participants to meet and share observing ideas, astro-imaging techniques, as well as find out what's new in the hobby. WSP offers a stellar daily line-up of speakers who are experts in their particular field. WSP is held under the auspices of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society of Miami. This not -for-profit organization funnels proceeds from this event toward public education projects, scholarship programs, humanitarian needs and Girl Scout Camp improvements.


Established in 1984, the Annual WINTER STAR PARTY is held in the Florida Keys, and hosted by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society (SCAS), Inc., of Miami, Florida.

During a new moon week each February, approximately 650 amateur astronomers from around the world travel to the warm subtropics of the Florida Keys to enjoy nightly observing in 360º of clear steady night skies, exchange information and advice on the hobby, meet SCAS members and distinguished guest speakers, shop for astronomical equipment from the finest vendors in the country, participate in photo contests & workshops, go sightseeing in the "Conch Republic", and record the awesome beauty sparkling in the southern night skies.

Traveling To
The Star Party

Getting to the WSP is easy.

From the Miami International Airport, it's 45 minutes on the Florida Turnpike south, followed by two hours on scenic Highway US-1 down the Florida Keys. Connecting flights to Key West are also available, reducing driving time to under an hour. Marathon Airport offers scheduled airline service to and from Fort Myers, Fl on Continental Airlines (in partnership with Cape Air). Marathon Airport started this new service in 2008. We advise you NOT to make non-refundable travel plans until you have received confirmation of your registration.

to Stay

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The Girl Scout Campground has plenty of room for tent camping and a limited amount of room for RVs (see registration form for prices). Bunks are also available. Each Tent sleeps six. The campground has showers and clean bathrooms, but this is not a resort and facilities are rustic. If you prefer to stay off-site, there are several hotels on neighboring Keys (look for accommodations in Big Pine or Marathon). Remember, the WSP is held during the peak of tourist season in the Keys, so reserve as soon as possible after you receive confirmation (AKA WSP Ticket) of your attendance. For information on area accommodations and recreational activities, call 1-800-FLA-KEYS or see The Official Florida Keys web site.

Star Party

Register Early to Ensure Your Spot

Please contact the Winter Star Party Registrars at or call 386-362-5995 if you have any questions about registration. The 2018 WSP Registration Notification Postcards will be sent out in early September 2016.