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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

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

Deering Estate Image 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

FIU Dept. of Physics Eclipse Event

FIU Image Located at Stocker AstroScience Center, located behind the Physics Building, Main campus. Programs will be in the lecture room 1st floor opposite the elevator and on the Observatory roof weather permitting. The FIU Observatory is open to the public 8 p.m. Saturday evenings.
Monday August 21, 1-4 pm FIU Website



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.


Star Party

SCAS Astros will arrange hi-tech equipment in the dark outback of the historic Fruit & Spice Park, 24801 SW 187 Ave. Homestead, FL 33031. Bring family and friends, wear your Hallowe'en costume and view Autumn constellations, Andromeda Galaxy, star clusters, Saturn and a First Quarter Moon. Ride the Park tram through the gardens, enjoy refreshments, a campfire and singalong! Bring chairs. blankets, bug repellent. Free admission! 305-279-5727.

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

Precise Parts

Telescope Engineering Company

Explorer Scientific

ADM Accessories

Day Star Filters

Software Bisque

Losmandy Astronomical Products

Tele Vue

Astro Mart

Cloudy Nights

SCAS STARGAZER August 2017 - Barb Yager

Lunar Timetable:

Full Moon Image
7th Full FRUIT Moon 2:11 p.m.
Last Quarter Moon Image
14th Last Quarter Moon 9:15 p.m.
New Moon Image
21st New Moon 2:30 p.m.
First Quarter Moon Image
29th First Quarter Moon 4:13 a.m.

Clear Sky Chart

Evening Skies:

  • 1st - The bright Moon floats above ruddy Antares (red supergiant) the heart beating in huge Scorpius in the south.
  • 2nd - Tonight the Moon glows above silver Saturn in the south
  • 3rd - The waning Moon lies above the Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) in the SSE.
  • 11th-15th - PERSEID METEOR SHOWER is most active midnight - dawn. Mercury has dropped into the sunset.
  • 14th - By nightfall Jupiter glows 6 degrees from Spica in Virgo in the west. They set by 11 p.m.
  • 22nd - The young crescent Moon appears briefly on the western horizon. 10th magnitude Comet Clark cruises 1 degree past Shaula, bright star in the Scorpion's stinger tail.
  • 24th - The Moon meets Jupiter in the SW. Binoculars reveal black Earthshine on the lunar surface.
  • 25th - By nightfall the Moon forms a triangle with Spica and Jupiter in the SW.
  • 28th - Tonight the Moon leads huge Scorpius into the SW.
  • 30th - At dusk the Moon returns to float above Saturn in the south.

Bright Arcturus, (red giant star) sparkles in the west beyond the handle of the Big Dipper low in the NW. Hercules leads the vast Summer Triangle across the Zenith. Cygnus, Swan soars within the Triangle. Virgo, SpringMaiden holds bright Jupiter and Spica low in the SW. Libra twinkles in the SW. The Sagittarian Teapot follows Scorpius across the south. Aquarius & Fomalhaut follow Capricornus across the SE.

Neptune rises in Aquarius in the SE mid-evening. Blue-green Uranus, in Pisces the Fish, appears in the east by Midnight. Pegasus, Winged Horse, climbs above the eastern horizon. Andromeda Galaxy appears low in the NE.

Morning Skies:

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

  • 5th - by a.m. blazing winter stars blanket the eastern skies. Bright Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer higher in the NE. The Pleiades (7 Sisters star cluster) lead Taurus the Bull, Aldebaran in the Hyades cluster, Gemini Twins and Orion, Hunter above the eastern horizon.
  • 12th - Procyon, Little Dog, climbs over the eastern horizon. PERSEID METEOR SHOWER most intense until dawn. Waning moonlight a factor.
  • 13th - Moon drifts 4 degrees from Uranus 1 a.m.
  • 14th-21st - Comet PANSTARRS, 9th magnitude, cruises 1 degree below the Pleiades.
  • 15th - Last Quarter Moon forms a triangle with 2 star clusters: Pleiades above and Hyades below the Moon.
  • 16th - The waning Moon floats 4 degrees below ruddy Aldebaran, red eye of the Bull.
  • 17th - Brilliant blue Sirius appears on the SE horizon.
  • 19th - At dawn, aim camera and binoculars to the waning Moon 6 degrees below Venus in the east.
  • 21st - PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSE. SCAS Astros will be at Deering at Cutler, SW 168 St,.Palmetto Bay 33157 1-4 p.m.
  • 31st - At dawn aim binoculars to Venus and the Beehive cluster 1 degree apart Ruddy Mars appears on the horizon directly below them.

Aries, Ram, chases Pegasus, Winged Horse higher in the east. Hercules leads Vega and the Summer Triangle westward. The Triangle becomes the Northern Cross. The Pleiades and Hyades bring Taurus, Bull higher in the east. The Royal Family reigns in the north: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda and Perseus, Hero. Uranus drifts across the south. Neptune lies in Aquarius with Fomalhaut in the SW.

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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 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). 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.