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Bill Sadowski Park

Deering Estate

Zoo Miami


  • Welcome to
  • Home of the Winter Star Party
  • Astronomers of South Florida


Wear your Key West costume, indulge in free Key Lime Pies and sodas with latest exciting astronomy updates by research astronomer Dr. James R. Webb. Weather permitting a Star Party is scheduled on the Observatory roof. Bring family, friends, future astronomers to FIU Physics Building, Maidique campus CP-145 lecture hall. Park in the campus garage SW 109 Ave./SW 8 St on the West side of SW 109th Ave. in faculty/visitors space and follow the SCAS signs across the street and patio into CP-145.

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017 @ 2:31PM

Cities in the path of totality
Order your Solar Eclipse Glasses from the Astronomical League. The Eclipse will be 80% visible in South Florida and 100% in South Carolina. "NEVER LOOK AT THE PARTIAL PHASES OF THE ECLIPSE WITHOUT PROPER EYE PROTECTION!"
Download Solar Eclipse Glasses Flyer Here

View Solar Eclipse at Deering Estate

Come view the Partial Solar Eclipse with the Southern Cross Astronomical Society.
Monday, August 21, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Deering Estate Website Locate Deering Estate on Map

List of Eclipse Events Across North America



Saturday evenings closest to the New Moon: July 22, August 19, September 16 and 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.

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

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Lunar Timetable:

9th- Full "Thunder" Moon 12:07 a.m.

16th- Last Quarter Moon 3:26 p.m.

23rd- New Moon 5:46 a.m.

30th- First Quarter Moon 11:23 a.m.

Clear Sky Chart

Evening Skies:

  • 1st - The Gemini Twins sit on the NW horizon. Mercury appears on the horizon to the left of the Twins. Jupiter, Spica and the Moon all in Virgo, form a wide triangle in the SW.
  • 2nd - Neptune rises in the east late evening in Aquarius. The Moon drifts 10 degrees left of Jupiter. They set by 1 a.m.
  • 3rd - At 4 p.m.EARTH moves to its farthest point from the Sun at 94 million miles.
  • 5th - The bright Moon floats above huge Scorpius in the south.
  • 6th - At dusk, the Moon lies 3 degrees above Saturn in the SE.
  • 7th - By nightfall, the Moon glows above the Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) in the SE.
  • 9th - Mercury shimmers 6 degrees above the WNW horizon at the northern edge of the Beehive cluster in Cancer, Crab.
  • 13th - Tonight silver Saturn lies 12 degrees from ruddy Antares (red supergiant) known as the "heart' beating in the Scorpion's torso.
  • 23rd-25th - Mercury meets the star Regulus in the Lion low in the WNW. They are 1 degree apart on the 25th. A young crescent Moon is nearby.
  • 28th - At dusk, the Moon floats 2 degrees above Jupiter. The King of the Planets sets before Midnight
  • 30th - Mercury reaches its highest altitude above the WNW horizon.
  • 31st - By nightfall, the Moon leads huge Scorpius across the south..

Leo, Lion stalks the western horizon. Corvus, Crow lands on the SW horizon. Bright Arcturus (red giant) sparkles overhead at the end of the Big Dipper's handle.The Big Dipper swings into the NW. Corona Borealis, Northern Crown, twinkles overhead. The stars of Libra drift across the SW. Huge Scorpius crawls across the south, closely followed by the Sagittarian Teapot. Aim binoculars to these two southern constellations to view a myriad of star clusters and nebulas in the center of our Galaxy. the stellar Teaspoon lies to the left of the lid of the Teapot. Delicate star clusters M-6 and M-7 shimmer above the Scorpion's stinger tail. Hercules leads bright Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle above the NE horizon. Cygnus, Swan soars within the Triangle. The celestial Birds of Summer glide across the sky: Corvus, Crow lands on the SW horizon--Aquila, Eagle (southern star in the Summer Triangle) and Cygnus, Swan within the Triangle.

Morning Skies:

Mars is behind the Sun and will appear in the morning skies in September.

  • 1st - In the predawn, blue-green Uranus rises in the East in Pisces, the Fish. Neptune lies in Aquarius in the south.
  • 4th - Brilliant Venus rises in the east around 3 a.m. By dawn Venus glows 20 degrees above the eastern horizon.
  • 5th The Pleiades cluster shimmers 7 degrees upper left (closest) to the Morning Star in Taurus, Bull. Ruddy Aldebaran (Bull's red eye) winks from the V-shaped Hyades cluster (Bull's face) below Venus.
  • 14th - At dawn, Brilliant Venus is closest to Aldebaran 3 degrees apart in Taurus in the east.
  • 19th - In morning twilight, the waning crescent Moon leads ruddy Aldebaran and the Morning Star higher in the east. Orion, Hunter, reclines on the eastern horizon below them.
  • 20th - Venus and the waning Moon lie 3 degrees apart in the east
  • 21st - The old Moon rises left of Orion.
  • 22nd - The thin Moon appears to the right of the Gemini Twins rising in the ENE..
  • 27th - At dawn, Orion, Hunter awakens on the eastern horizon.

Capella guides Auriga and the Charioteer higher in the northeast. Brilliant Venus drifts between 2 star clusters: Pleiades and Hyades in Taurus. Aries, Ram chases Pegasus, Winged Horse toward the Zenith. Hercules leads Vega and the Summer Triangle westward. The Royal Family arrives in the NE: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda with our closest galaxy, and Perseus, Hero. Cetus, Whale swims along the SE horizon below Pisces, Fish. Capricornus, Sea Goat plods across the SW..Fomalhaut twinkles in Aquarius (below Neptune) in the south.

Welcome to
Home of the Winter Star Party
We Are Astronomers of South Florida
We Are Passionate about Astronomy

"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

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). Chickee bunks are also available. Each chickee 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 2017 WSP Registration Notification Postcards will be sent out in early September 2016.