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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.org

REGISTRATION FOR THE 2019 WINTER STAR PARTY IS NOW CLOSED

WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT DUE TO EXITSTING CONDITIONS AT CAMP WESUMKEE, REGISTRATION HAS BEEN LIMITED TO 300 PARTICIPANTS.

WE WILL BE USING THE BOY SCOUTS FACILITY, CAMP SAWYER FOR ALL CAMPERS AND ALL RV'S WILL BE PARKED AT CAMP WESUMKEE. ALL GUEST SPEAKER TALKS WILL BE DONE AT CAMP SAWYER. WE WILL BE USING THE BATHROOMS AND SHOWERS AT CAMP SAWYER AS WELL.

PLEASE WATCH THE EMAIL YOU USED TO REGISTER FOR AN INFORMATIONAL LETTER FROM WSP DIRECTOR TIM KHAN WITH MORE DETAILS.

SCAS Program at FIU 1/18/2019


FRIDAY January 18th Southern Cross Astros present WINTER CONSTELLATIONS 8 p.m. FIU Physics lecture hall CP-145 Main campus. Brilliant winter constellations cover our night sky--visible, in binoculars, telescopes! Your best opportunity to learn their names, locations, mythology as you enjoy their dazzling beauty across our southern night skies. Student credit???
Meet our SCAS Astros, lively discussions, FREE food. Weather permitting the FIU Observatory roof will be open after the program. Bring friends! Join SCAS--student member discounts--the best family hobby that lasts a lifetime! Park in the campus garage, in visitor/faculty slot, west side of SW 109 Ave./SW 8 St. and follow SCAS signs into CP-145.


SATURDAY January 5th
NEW MOON STAR PARTY


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

STAR PARTIES- Weather Permitting--SATURDAY January 12th, 19th and 26th, SCAS Astros will arrange hi-tech equipment 6-10 p.m. on the observation deck in MiamiDade Bill Sadowski Park & Nature Center, SW 176 St./SW 79 Ave. 1/2 mile west of Old Cutler Road. The Park classroom is open for SCAS astronomy activities. Bring chairs, binoculars, dysfunctional telescopes, bug repellent. No white lights, lasers, litter, pets or alcohol at our SCAS Star Parties.

SCAS membership information- please contact barbyager@aol.com

WSP 2019 will be held Feb 4 thru 10 in the Florida Keys at Camp Wesumkee. Registration will open on October 1st 2018. Get your tickets early, it's our 35 year celebration!


MATTHEW "TIPPY" D"AURIA


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.

http://cs.astronomy.com/asy/b/astronomy/archive/2018/08/01/tippy-d-39-auria-passes-away.aspx



SOUTHERN CROSS SATURDAY STAR PARTIES
WEATHER PERMITTING

SCAS FREE STAR PARTIES at dusk
January 12th, 19th and 26th
Bill Sadowsky Park
17555 SW 79th Ave.
Palmetto Bay, Fl. 33157
305-661-1375


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 Saturday (December 8th) 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.


SOUTHERN CROSS NEW MOON STAR PARTY

WEATHER PERMITTING

SATURDAY, January 5th, 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 BE CLOSED DURING THE NEW MOON STAR PARTY!


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

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SCAS STARGAZER JANUARY 2019 - Barb Yager

Lunar Timetable:

New Moon Image
January 5th New Moon 8:33 pm
First Quarter Moon Image
January 14th First Quarter Moon 1:25 am
Full Moon Image
January 21st Full Moon 12:17 am
Last Quarter Moon Image
January 27th Last Quarter Moon 4:38 pm





JANUARY METEOR SHOWERS


Quadrantid


The Quadrantid meteor shower is 2019’s first major meteor shower. We’ll have moon-free skies for the peak this year, expected late night January 3 until dawn January 4. Although the Quadrantids have been known to produce some 50-100 meteors in a dark sky, their peak is extremely narrow, time-wise





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

Evening


3 evening planets--meteor shower--total lunar eclipse!



02- EARTH orbits closest to the Sun at Midnight EST 91.4 million miles distant. The Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun creating winter. This month sunset is a few minutes later than last month but sunrise continues to occur later until 2nd week of January. The Southern Hemisphere is toward the Sun creating summer.
03- The ANNUAL QUADRANTID METEORS radiate from the north mid-evening to the predawn 1/04. Look for bright Arcturus in the NE (beyond end of the Big Dipper's handle) as a guide star. In a moonless night dozens of meteors may be visible.Some meteors may be visible for a week.
05- NEW MOON occurs 8:33 p.m. COMET WIRTANEN fades to 7th magnitude cruising into the Big Dipper.
10- Young Moon lies 3 degrees below Neptune, in Aquarius, in the SW.
12- A crescent Moon floats 6 degrees below ruddy Mars, in Pisces the Fish, in the SW. Eastbound Mars sets about 11:15 p.m. Aim binoculars on the Moon to scope out the variety of craters and details.
16- Tonight the Moon forms a TRIANGLE with two star clusters: the Pleiades (7 Sisters) above and the V-shaped Hyades in Taurus, Bull below the Moon.
17- The bright Moon floats near Aldebaran (red giant star) the Bull's red eye in the Hyades cluster (Bull's face).
20- At dusk, the bright Moon rises in ENE below the Gemini Twins, 7 degrees above the Beehive star cluster.

GET READY FOR THE TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE! Binoculars are perfect to increase the eclipse detail.
9:40 p.m. penumbral shadow begins
10:34 p.m. Moon enters the partial Earthly shadow.
11:41 p.m. Moon begins totality.
12:12 a.m. Moon encased in mid-totality
12:43 a.m. Totality ends
1:51 a.m. Partial eclipse ends.
The next North American total lunar eclipse will occur 5/15-16/ 2022.
21- The FROST MOON is full.
27- LAST QUARTER MOON 4:38 p.m.

Constellations:
Neptune lies in Aquarius in SW. Fomalhaut twinkles below Neptune. Bright Mars glows in western Pisces. Blue-green Uranus in eastern Pisces and sets after Midnight. Aries, Ram chases Pegasus (Winged Horse) onto the western horizon. The Royal Family reigns in the north: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda holding our closest galaxy, and Perseus. The Pleiades lead Taurus, Bull overhead with gigantic Orion, Hunter in hot pursuit from the southeast. Procyon, Little Dog, follows Orion. Bright Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer toward the Zenith.The Gemini Twins climb higher in NE. The delicate Beehive cluster in Cancer shimmers below the Twins. Leo, Lion peers over the eastern horizon. The Big Dipper rises in NE.

Next free SCAS program at FIU "Winter Constellations" 8 p.m. Friday, January 18, 2019 in CP-145 lecture hall Main campus.

Morning


3 planets visible at dawn during the month rise in the SE in the predawn--meteor shower



01- At dawn, the waning Moon leads a Parade of Planets higher in SE: brilliant Venus, Morning Star--bright Jupiter--Mercury low in SE--Saturn appears in SE 1/22. Huge Scorpius crawls beside the planets.
02- Before sunrise, the waning Moon leads Scorpius higher in SE.
03- At dawn, the old Moon joins Jupiter to left of bright Antares (red supergiant) the heart beating in Scorpius.
04- QUADRANTID METEOR SHOWER may be visible until 4 a.m. A thin Moon rises in the SE near setting Mercury.
05- Mercury slips into the glare of sunrise.
14- FIRST QUARTER MOON occurs 1:25 a.m.
20- Jupiter rises to 3 degrees below Venus in SE.
21- The FROST MOON is full 12:17 a.m. EST.
22- Before sunrise Jupiter dances with Venus 2 degrees apart. Silver Saturn appears on the SE horizon.
31- At dawn, brilliant Venus nudges the old crescent Moon in SE. Great photo opportunity!

Constellations:
Orion, Hunter, slides onto the western horizon, followed by his Little Dog Procyon in the west. The Gemini Twins stand on the WNW horizon. Leo, Lion crawls westward. The Beehive cluster shimmers between the Twins and the Lion in the west. Corvus, Crow leads Spica in Virgo across the south. Libra twinkles in the SSE. Huge Scorpius climbs higher in SE. Bright Arcturus sparkles in east. Vega, in Lyra the Harp, appears on the NE horizon. The Big Dipper hangs in the north.

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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.

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.

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.

Where
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
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 2018 WSP Registration Notification Postcards will be sent out in early September 2016.