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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



Weather permitting, Southern Cross Astronomers will arrange hi-tech equipment starting at 7:30 p.m. for a public SATURNWATCH on Wednesday June 27, along the shore of the historic Deering Estate located at the east end of SW 168 St., Palmetto Bay 33157. Saturn will be it's brightest and closest to Earth. Brilliant Venus lies in the west while bright Jupiter hovers above in the southeast. A bright full Moon rising in the east will also be visible.

Southern Cross will also host a MARWATCH on July 31. Mars at 35.8 million miles, will be its closest since 2003 when it was just 34.7 million miles from Earth. Bring chairs, blankets and bug repellent. 305-235-1668., Southern Cross Astronomical Society Facebook


June 2nd, 16th, 23rd and 30th
Bill Sadowsky Park
17555 SW 79th Ave.
Palmetto Bay, Fl. 33157

Southern Cross returns to Bill Sadowski Park on Saturday May 5th.

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. Observing at Bill Sadowski Park will be closed on new moon Saturdays (June 9th) so we may use our dark sky facility in the Redlands.
Please watch our Facebook page and our website for all future events, updates and cancellations.



SATURDAY, June 9th, 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.

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Lunar Timetable:

Last Quarter Moon Image
June 6th Last Quarter Moon 2:19 pm
New Moon Image
June 13th New Moon 3:59 pm
First Quarter Moon Image
June 20th First Quarter Moon 6:41 am
Full Moon Image
June 28th Full Moon 1:07 am



June is another slow month for meteor activity. There are no major showers active in June and only the Anthelion source can be counted on for continuous activity. Even the Anthelion radiant is located so far south this time of year that rates rarely exceed 2 per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere. Sporadic rates continue to remain slow as seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45 N). As seen from the southern tropics (25 S) sporadic rates continue to be strong this month.

Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for meteors and fireballs during February:
  • 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


03- By nightfall huge Scorpius climbs over the SE horizon. Jupiter shines in Libra above Scorpius.
Brilliant Venus, Evening Star, glows below the Gemini Twins low in the WNW.
06- Last Quarter Moon occurs 2:19 p.m. The Moon rises after Midnight. Saturn rises 10:30 p.m.
Venus reaches its highest altitude.
10- Venus aligns with the Gemini Twins low in the WNW. Procyon, Orion's Little Dog, snoozes on the western horizon.
11- Venus enters Cancer,Crab constellation.
13- New Moon occurs 3:59 p.m.
14- Mercury appears on the WNW horizon on the right of the young crescent Moon.
16- Mid-evening, take images of the Beehive star cluster in Cancer, Crab, framed by a crescent Moon (left) and brilliant Venus (right). Aim binoculars at the dark Earthshine on the Moon.
19- The Beehive and Venus snuggle 0.5 degree apart low in the WNW. Great Images!
21- The bright Moon floats above Spica, in Virgo.
23- The Moon lies near Jupiter in Libra.
27- SATURNWATCH 8 p.m. with SCAS Astros at the Deering Estate, east end of SW 168 Street Palmetto Bay 33157. Saturn will be brightest opposite the Sun and closest to Earth. Saturn rises in the SE by sunset. Bright Moon shines near Saturn.
28- The Moon and Saturn 1 degree apart above the Sagittarian Teapot in the SE. Great photos!
Mercury aligns with the Gemini Twins near the WNW horizon. The Beehive cluster shimmers above Mercury.
29- Venus enters the constellation Leo.
30- The Moon rises in the SE 5 degrees above Mars in Capricornus, now 42 million miles from Earth. Brighter Mars approaches its closest visit to Earth end of July. Neptune rises in SE about Midnight.

Leo, Lion crawls lower in the west. The Gemini Twins, Castor & Pollux stand on the WNW horizon. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, onto the NW horizon. The Big Dipper hangs in the north. Bright Arcturus sparkles overhead. Corvus, Crow leads Spica in Virgo lower in the SW. Jupiter glows in Libra in the south. Huge Scorpius climbs over the SE horizon. Hercules leads bright Vega and the vast Summer Triangle higher in the NE.


01- At dawn, the bright Moon and Saturn float above the Sagittarian Teapot in the SW.
03- Mars rises soon after Midnight. Before sunrise the waning Moon lies 3 degrees above ruddy Mars in Capricornus in the south. Neptune rises in the SE about 2 a.m.
11- By 6 a.m. the delicate Pleiades star cluster (Seven Sisters) rise in the ENE left of the old Moon.
20- First Quarter Moon occurs at 6:41 a.m.
21- The Summer Solstice occurs at 6:07 a.m. when the northbound Sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer for a few days. Summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere. Measure the length of your shadow at noon.
27- Saturn opposite the Sun at 9 a.m.
28- The "Honey" Moon is full at 1:07 a.m. and lies 2 degrees above Saturn in the SW at dawn.
30- The bright Moon lies near Mars. Jupiter sets by 2:30 a.m.

In the predawn, the Big Dipper swings into the NW. Bright Arcturus sparkles in the west. Scorpius crawls into the SW closely followed by the Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy). Capricornus, Sea Goat plods across the SE. Neptune and Fomalhaut appear in the ESE in Aquarius. Hercules leads Vega and the Summer Triangle toward the Zenith. Cygnus, Swan soars within the Triangle. Aries, Ram chases Pegasus(Winged Horse) higher in the east. Royal Family arrives in the NE: King Cepheus,Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda and Perseus.

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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.