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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

SCAS free Programs at FIU will be on hiatus until September 20th.

Public Star Parties 8-10:30 p.m. Saturdays all year:
FIU Observatory SW 109 Ave./SW 8 St. W. Miami
Bill Sadowski Park, SW 176 St./SW 79 Ave. Palmetto Bay 33157
D'Auria Observatory, 23325 SW 217 Ave. Homestead 33031


On selected Saturdays or Sundays during the coming year, weather permitting, come see SCAS free, safe solarviewing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., near the ticket entrance at ZooMiami. 12400 SW 152 Street. The Sun is in its quiet time but a sudden fiery prominence can always appear. Students interested in solar energy may benefit by this program


D'Auria Observatory dusk-10 p.m. 23325 SW 217 Ave. Homestead. SCAS hi-tech equipment will be focused on deep sky objects.

Bring chairs, binoculars, dysfunctional telescopes, bug repellent.

Starting last month and continuing on the D'Auria Observatory will be open each and every Saturday night. The observatory is located at 23325 SW 217th Ave, Homestead.

No white lights, lasers, litter, pets or alcohol at our SCAS Star Parties.

Please be reminded that there is no public vehicle traffic permitted in the observatory property. Park outside with your headlights towards the road so there will be no light splash onto the observing field. When you walk thru the gate, please be mindful of the other guests and astronomers observing and imaging so no cell phone flashlights. Pictures are permitted but please ask first.

SCAS membership information- please contact


It is wih great sadness that the Southern Cross Astronomical Society announces the passing of Matthew "Tippy" D'Auria, lifetime member and founder of the Winter Star Party. Tippy was a rare treasure. His love of astronomy and his passion for research, education and public outreach was a brightly shining star in our hobby........he will be greatly missed.
Tippy was either a friend, mentor or an inspiration to all who knew him or met him. Our little part of the world will just not be the same without him.
Our sympathies and our prayers are with Tippy's wife Patty and their family in this time of great sorrow.

Memorial services for Tippy will be held on Friday, August 3rd, at the Florida National Cemetory located at 6502 SW 102nd Ave. Bushnell, Florida 33513. (305)-793-7740.
Tippy's wife Patty has asked that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Southern Cross Asronomical Society.

Rest in peace old friend

BLOGS from the Local Group

Please take a few moments to read this wonderful article in this months Asrtonomy Magazine, on line, written by Micheal Bakich.


June 8th, 15th, 22nd and the 29th.
Bill Sadowsky Park
17555 SW 79th Ave.
Palmetto Bay, Fl. 33157

Bring family, friends, faculty, students, future astronomers, chairs, binoculars, telescopes, bug repellent, jackets and dress appropriately. Tour the dark, winter star-studded sky in SCAS hi-tech equipment. No white lights, lasers, litter, alcohol or pets. Park in the parking lot and walk over to the observing pad.
Please watch our Facebook page and our website for all future events, updates and cancellations.



Each month on the Saturday closest to the new moon, come to our New Moon Star Party, dusk til 10 p.m. hosted by Southern Cross Astros. Bring family, friends, chairs, binoculars, bug repellent to the D'Auria Observatory. Hi-tech SCAS equipment will be focused on the stars and deep sky wonders that the Winter skies have to offer. The D'Auria Dark Sky Observatory is located at 23325 SW 217 Avenue, Homestead, 33031. Please remember to park outside the gate. NO public vehicle traffic is permitted on the field. NO lasers, lights, litter, alcohol or pets. Sadowski Park Star Party, Palmetto Bay will be closed. For information call 305-661-1375 or 305-439-1351. All cancellations will be posted on the SCAS Facebook page prior to the start of any star party. SADOWSKI PARK WILL REMAIN OPEN DURING THE NEW MOON STAR PARTY!

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

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Sky Safari

Outdoor Sport Optics

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Telescope Engineering Company

Explorer Scientific

ADM Accessories

Day Star Filters

Software Bisque

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Astro Mart


Lunar Timetable:

New Moon Image
June 3rd New Moon 6:19 am
First Quarter Moon Image
June 10th First Quarter Moon 1:44 am
Full Moon Image
June 17th Full Moon 4:42 am
Last Quarter Moon Image
June 25th Last Quarter Moon 5:42 am



The Beta Taurid Meteor Swarm 6/30th occurs in daytime but few may occur after sunset. The second Beta Taurid Meteor Shower always occurs late October in the evening.

Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for meteors and fireballs during December:
  • Get out of the city to a place where city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
  • If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes.
  • Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you - viewing meteors, just like any other kind of star gazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can’t see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.

Clear Sky Chart


4 evening planets are visible:
Mercury & Mars WNW--Jupiter & Saturn SE.
Jupiter rises in evening dusk. Saturn rises 10:45 p.m.
Mercury & Mars are visible in WNW at dusk.

01- Mid-evening golden Jupiter rises 13 degrees left of huge Scorpius in SE. At dusk, Mercury rises to 5 degrees above the WNW horizon. Dim Mars lies 15 degrees upper left of Mercury.
04- The sliver of a young 1 day old Moon glows briefly 4 degrees left of Mercury in WNW. At dusk the Moon is 6 degrees left of Mars.
06- The Moon now left of the Gemini Twins. Aim binoculars to the Beehive cluster 3 degrees above the Moon.
07- Tonight the Moon leads Leo, the Lion westward. Omega Centauri star cluster may still be visible low in the south.
10- JUPITER OPPOSITE SUN- Jupiter's closest pass by Earth. Jupiter will be closest and brightest all month as it rises at sunset in the SE and sets in the SW at dawn. The giant planet floats left of red supergiant Antares, the red heart beating in Scorpius. By 10:30 p.m. silver Saturn rises ESE left of the Sagittarian Teapot.
11- SATELLITES TRANSIT JUPITER- Io-10:22 p.m. Ganymede 11:28 p.m.
Mars and Mercury 5 degrees apart in WNW. Procyon, Orion's Little Dog, reclines on the western horizon. 14- Bright Moon in Libra guides Scorpius across the south.
15- The Moon floats above Jupiter in SE.
16- The Honey Moon is full tonight and rises lower left of Jupiter.
17- Tonight the Moon floats above the Sagittarian Teapot in the SE.
18- Mars and Mercury dance together 0.3 degrees apart in Gemini in the WNW.
20- SCAS JUPITERWATCH 8-10 p.m. Deering at Cutler SW 167 St./SW 72 Ave.
21 SUMMER SOLSTICE when the Sun is northernmost and days are longest.
22- Mars and Mercury are 2.2 degrees apart. The Gemini Twins to upper right and the Beehive cluster to upper left.
23- Mercury climbs to its highest altitude by 7 p.m. in the WNW.
28- At dusk look for the celestial line up in the WNW: L-R: Mercury, Mars, Pollux, Castor. The last two are the Gemini Twins. The Beehive cluster shimmers upper left. Saturn now rises at dusk.

The Gemini Twins: Castor & Pollux lie low in the WNW. Leo, the Lion crawls westward. Corvus, the Crow, flies ahead of Spica in Virgo (SpringMaiden) in the SW. Stunning star cluster Omega Centauri shimmers low in the SSW. Libra twinkles ahead of huge Scorpius in SE. Bright Arcturus (red giant) sparkles overhead. The Big Dipper hangs in the NNW. Capella guides Auriga, the Charioteer, onto the NW horizon. Hercules leads bright Vega, in Lyra's Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle rides higher in the NE.

SCAS free programs are on break for the summer. We will return to the FIU campus September 20th


4 Planets visible in the morning:
Jupiter and Saturn in West. Neptune rises in the SE by 1:30 a.m. in Aquarius, followed by blue-green Uranus 2 hours later in Aries, Ram.

01- Before sunrise a celestial line up appears on the ENE horizon: Pleiades star cluster (left), brilliant Venus (center) the waning crescent Moon on the right.
03- New Moon occurs 6:19 a.m.
09- At dawn the Seven Sisters (Pleiades) dance 5 degrees above Venus, Morning Star, in ENE.
10- First Quarter Moon occurs 1:44 a.m.
14- Saturn floats above the tilted Sagittarian Teapot in the SSW.
17- The Honey Moon is full at 4:42 a.m. and sets in the SW at dawn.
21- At dawn Saturn lies near the Teaspoon above the Sagittarian Teapot in the SW. The SUMMER SOLSTICE occurs at 11:54 a.m. The Sun remains at its northernmost latitude for about 2 weeks. Days are longest and nights are shortest.
25- Last Quarter Moon occurs at 5:42 a.m.
29- At dawn Taurus, Bull climbs higher in the ENE. The old crescent Moon floats to the right of the Pleiades cluster. Aldebaran, Bull's red eye, winks from the Hyades cluster (Bull's face) below the Moon. Venus descends to 3 degrees above the ENE horizon.
30- At dawn, the Moon is 3 degrees above Aldebaran.

Taurus, the Bull chases Aries, the Ram higher in ENE. Pegasus (Flying Horse) races overhead. The Royal Family swings into the NW. The Summer Triangle becomes the Northern Cross on the NW horizon. The Sagittarian Teapot lies low in the SW. Neptune and Fomalhaut in Aquarius in the SE. Capricornus, the Sea Goat plods across the south. 30th- Beta Taurid Meteor Swarm may be visible radiating from Taurus near Venus ENE. The meteors are zipping toward the Sun. Late October the 2nd Beta Taurid Meteor Swarm will race toward Earth at night.

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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.