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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


May 5th, 19th and 26th
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 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, May 12th, 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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Tele Vue

Astro Mart

Cloudy Nights


Lunar Timetable:

Last Quarter Moon Image
May 7th Last Quarter Moon 10:09 am
New Moon Image
May 15th New Moon 8:00 am
First Quarter Moon Image
May 21st First Quarter Moon 11:42 pm
Full Moon Image
May 29th Full Moon 10:33 am



Eta Aquariids Active from April 19th to May 26th , 2018
The Eta Aquariids are a strong shower when viewed from the southern tropics. From the equator northward, they usually only produce medium rates of 10-30 per hour just before dawn. From the equator to 25 degrees South, they can produce rates of 40-60 per hour just before dawn at maximum. The longer nights in the southern hemisphere allows the radiant to rise higher in their sky. South of 25 degrees South, the radiant altitude actually decreases. Activity is good for a week centered the night of maximum activity. These are swift meteors that produce a high percentage of persistent trains, but few fireballs.
Radiant: 22:32 -1° - ZHR: 55 - Velocity: 42 miles/sec (swift - 66.9km/sec) - Parent Object: 1P/Halley

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


01 At dusk brilliant Venus in WNW near Aldebaran and sets by mid evening. Jupiter rises 8 30 p.m in the ESE. The 7 Sisters dance low in WNW.
05 Early Eta Aquarids may be visible by midnight.
06 Comet Panstarrs, 10 magn. cruises 3 degrees lower left of Capella.
07 Last Qtr. Moon 10:09 p.m.
08. Jupiter opposite Sun 9 pm. Weather permitting SCAS Astros will be at Deering Estate, SW 168 Street. Jupiter will be closest and brightest.
10 Young Moon near Aldebaran low in WNW.
17 Young Moon
19 Moon aligns with the Gemini Twins.
21 First Quarter Moon occurs 11:42 p.m.
28 Bright Moon leads Scorpius Above SE horizon.

Taurus and Orion the Hunter slip below the western horizon. The Gemini Twins, the Beehive Cluster and Procyon, Orion's little dog linger in thw west. Corvus the Crow and Spica in Virgo hang low in the SW while Loe the Lion crawls Overhead. Jupiter in Libra flows in the SE. Huge Scorpius climbs over the SE horizon. The compact, giant star cluster Omega Centyauri shimmers in the South. Bright Acturus sparkles in the East. Vega in Lyra brings the Summer Triangle into the ND. The Big Dipper hand in the North


02 In the predawn the Moon drifts Above Scorpius low in the SE.
05 The Moon floats between reddy Mars and silver Saturn Above the Sagittarian Teapot in the South.
06 In the predawn the Eta Aquarid Meteors are most visible radiating from the SE. Moon is 3 degrees from Mars at 78 million miles from Earth.
13 At dawn the thin old Moon rises in the East 4 degrees right of Mercury.
15 New Moon at 8:00 a.m
29 Mars now 57.3 million miles distant.

In the predawn, Acturus sparkles in the West. The Lion stalks the western horizon while Corvus the Crow leads Spica in Virgo low into the SW. Jupiter in Libra lies low in the SW. The Sagittarian Teapot follows Scorpius across the South. Vega leads the Summer Triangle to the Zenith. Cygnus the Swan soars within the Triangle. Formalhaut lies in the SE. Pegasus appears in the East. Queen Cassiopeia, Cephueus, Andromeda and Persus arrive in the NE. The Big Dipper swings into the NW.

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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.