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Winter Star Party
Winter Observing In The Tropics
Great Speakers
Dark Skies
Memories That Will Last Forever

It's official!! We are back in the Florida Keys however registration is now CLOSED.
We apologize but we are at capacity for the space available to us..





A LETTER FROM WSP DIRECTOR, TIM KHAN



Dear WSP Attendees,
As many of you know, Camp Wesumkee, the Girl Scout campsite and home to the Winter Star Party (WSP), was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma last year. Irma destroyed the women’s bathhouse, and the men’s bathhouse was severely damaged. The wheelhouse, where the Star Party lectures took place, was also badly damaged. While abundant site work to remove washed up sand and debris has been completed, there is an insurmountable amount of work which still needs to be done. This will not be finished in time for Winter Star Party. To remedy the situation, the Boy Scouts have agreed to let Southern Cross use their property, Camp Sawyer, which is adjacent to Camp Wesumkee. Additional details regarding the Winter Star Party are below.

Facilities:

The Boy Scout property is equipped with a new bathhouse that has 10 separate bathrooms and 10 showers, which are private individual rooms. The arrangement is along a perimeter walkway, which is coed friendly. The bathroom facilities are located on the second floor of the facility; however, the elevator is currently out of commission. Star Party lectures will take place in the Boy Scouts’ open-air pavilion located on the southwest side of the property.

Scheduling:

There is a minor conflict between the Boy Scouts and the Winter Star Party event. The Boy Scouts will be arriving near the end of the WSP on February 8th, after Southern Cross announces the door prizes. They requested that any WSP attendees staying until Sunday use campsites 1 and 6 (to be confirmed), or set up on the Girl Scout property, or relocate as needed. For those attendees planning to leave immediately following the door prizes, all campsites are available to you for use.

Camp Wesumkee:

Southern Cross has permission to use the western half of the Girl Scout property. Space for camping and telescopes along the berm will be permitted from the first concrete pole located approximately 90 feet east of the ‘T’ in the road heading west to the old galley building. With exception of overflow parking, Southern Cross will NOT be using the eastern half of the Girl Scout campsite, next to the Wheel House where the Valley of the Dobs is located. The area to the north side from the site manager’s house westward will be reserved for RVs and travel trailers. Although much of the vegetation on the southwest side of Camp Wesumkee is gone, there is additional space for telescope setups and views down to the horizon.

Set-Up:

The south side of both Camp Wesumkee and the Boy Scout campsites will be reserved for telescope setups and tent camping. Mickie’s Kitchen and vendor setups will be more centrally located between the Boy Scouts and Camp Wesumkee in the area where the chickee huts used to be located. The walk between the Camp Wesumkee property to the Boy Scout bathroom facilities and the lecture pavilion will be longer. Additionally, heavy equipment could not remove sand and debris around some of the trees that survived the storm leaving pockets of soft sand and rocks. If you camp in these spots, please obtain a rake at registration to level the campsite and dispose of any large rocks. Additionally, please bring adequate heavy gauge extension cords for power, greater than 12-gauge. Smaller gauge extension cords will result in a voltage drop; thus, increasing amperage which can result in tripped circuit breakers.

Parking:

Parking on the Boy Scout side will be allowed in the designated parking lot ONLY. Please note that vehicles cannot pass between the 2 properties. After 7pm, the Boy Scout gates will be closed. If you require entry to and from the WSP, park on either the Girl Scout side or along US-1. Otherwise, equipment may be dropped off for setup, and vehicles can then be moved to the Girl Scout property. The Boy Scout management requires that vehicles are permitted at camping spots to load and unload ONLY. Vehicles may be parked on the Girl Scout property east of the tee (T) or along the US-1 roadside. Again, the gates will be closed from 7PM to 7AM; parking will be available along US-1 between these hours.

On behalf of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society, please travel safely and email any questions to russbrick@scas.org

Tim Khan
WSP Director

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.

Party
History

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.

Star Party
Registration

Register Early to Ensure Your Spot

Please contact the Winter Star Party Registrars at registrar@scas.org or call 386-362-5995 if you have any questions about registration. The 2020 WINTER STAR PARTY Registration Notification Postcards will be sent out in early September 2019.

Register Today!

Winter Star Party 2017


WSP Award Winning Photos

IC443 - (c)Richard Wright

Milky Way and Moonrise Conjunction - (c)Jose Cardozo

Solar Proms1 - (c)Jim Sweeney

WSP 2017 Deep Sky Photos

Angel Nebula - (c)Josh Smith

Centaurs A NGC5128 - (c)Robert King

IC-410 - (c)John O'Neill

IC405 - (c)Jonathan Talbot

Omega Centari - (c)Robert King

Orion Below the Belt - (c)Joseph Bohanon

WSP 2017 Wide Field Photos

A Shot in the Dark - (2017)Harry D. Hanbury

Cannon - - (2017)Harry D. Hanbury

Mining the Sky - (2017)Harry D. Hanbury

Night Cannon - - (2017)Harry D. Hanbury

Oh Ryan (c)???

Orion Wide - (c)Joseph Bohanon

Solar System Photos

Moon - (c)Richard Wright

Solar Proms1 - (c)Jim Sweeney

Solar Proms4 - (c)Jim Sweeney

Sun Spots - (c)Jim Sweeney

Register Today!