Star Gazing at the D'Auria Observatory
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The D'Auria Observatory.
The land was purchased by the club in 2010 and the observatory, mount and scope were purchased as a package from a remote location in New Mexico in 2011. The property was cleared and construction of the piers and the dome platform started shortly after. The site as you see it today is result of the hard work and dedication of the following 4 people……Manny Castro, Nick Stingone, Steve Van Ryn and Tim Khan.
The D’Auria Observatory property was opened for our members and the general public to observe or image. The site is home to a fully robotic Lightbuckets clamshell dome with a Paramount ME mount providing a professional grade imaging platform. Almost any combination of scope and camera can be mounted and powered thru the mounts onboard usb hub, all controlled by computer from any remote location thru the internet. Available on site are 6 concrete piers with mounting plates to accommodate a variety of mounts. Each pier has its own self contained electric supply.
A “warm room” at the rear of the property provides a place to relax while you are here. Facilities include a full bathroom with stand up shower, hot and cold running water, refrigerator, microwave, we even have a coffee pot if you need a little break from the eyepiece or computer screen. Password protected wifi is provided for access to the internet while on site. We can arrange tent camping and can also accommodate trailers with 2 - 30 amp services. We have a pond with some small aquarium fish and a few Coy, no swimming or fishing please.
Access is granted to all members (in good standing) for observation and astro photography, just send an email to email@example.com and we will arrange for your entry. Use of the dome and its equipment is available with the proper experience and training and will be assessed on a case by case basis.
In addition to the regular year-round Saturday evening public Star Parties, 8-10 p.m., special public evening celestial events may be held on a week night when a lunar eclipse, meteor storm, comet watch or full Super-moon occur. Summer hours extend to 10:30 p.m. due to late sunsets. Spectacular seasonal constellations, nebulae, star clusters, galaxies, lunar phases, detailed views of planets. satellites overhead at dusk and views of the International Space Station attract first time visitors, repeated visitors and is a must for field trips by middle, high school and college students on assignment and scouts earning astronomy badges.
Recently a New Moon Star Party agenda is scheduled dusk - 10 p.m. Saturdays for the rest of the year on the following dates: September 28th, October 27th and November 26th and December 26th at the D'Auria Observatory located at 23325 SW 217 Avenue, Homestead 33031. We encourage astro photography, research, observing/recording deep sky objects from our darker sky environment.
NO lasers, lights, litter, alcohol, pets or weapons are permitted at the D"Auria Observatory. Look for weather updates on SCAS Facebook.
Homestead, FL 33031
WhenSaturday Evenings from dusk to 10pm
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