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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


FRIDAY JANUARY 19th SCAS Astros will present a free, exciting program COLLIDING STARS at 8 p.m. FIU lecture hall CP-145 Modesto Maidique campus. SCAS Honorary member, FIU Adjunct Dean Walter Van Hamme will discuss the extraordinary celestial event predicted to occur 2020 - 2022 in the Summer Triangle constellation. Will students receive xtra credit? Refreshments and lively discussions are included in the evening program. Park in the campus garage, in faculty or visitor spaces, west side of SW 109 Ave./SW 8 St. and follow the SCAS signs across the patio into CP-145., SCAS Facebook, SCAS Hotline 305-661-1375.


January 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th
23325 SW 217 Ave.
Homestead, FL 33031

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 outside the property and walk in. There is no public vehicle access permitted at the observatory. Until the permit to offer SCAS Star Parties in MiamiDade Parks becomes official re: the Shannon Melendi Predators Law, Star Parties at Bill Sadowski Park will be closed Saturdays until further notice. We look forward to our return to all MiamiDade Parks in the near future.

Miami-Dade County Activities Canceled

Temporary Cancellation, Sadowski, Fruit & Spice Park, Zoo Miami and Shark Valley

Due to complications with Miami-Dade county permitting process, until further notice, all our programs at Miami-Dade county parks are cancelled. Sadowski Park, Zoo Miami, Shark Valley and Fruit and Spice Park. We will announce when we will resume operations here and on our Facebook page.


Russ Brick
President, Southern Cross Astronomical Society

Register for WSP Today!

Winter Star Party Notice

It's official!!
Registration is now open.

Dear Winter Star Party Participants and Volunteers,

The 2018 Winter Star Party will be held at Chiefland Astronomy Village February 12th through February 18th 2018. Please go to to register for your tickets and pre-order your official Winter Star Party merchandise.


Charlie Perillo
Winter Star Party, Host Coordinator

Register for WSP Today!

"Get your 2018 Astronomy Calendars"

Beautiful 2018 Astronomy magazine wall calendars have arrived! $8.00 ea. Supply is limited. Details:


SATURDAY, January 13th, 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.

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

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Losmandy Astronomical Products

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Astro Mart

Cloudy Nights


Lunar Timetable:

Full Moon Image
Jan 1st Full Moon 9:40 pm
Last Quarter Moon Image
Jan 8th Last Quarter Moon 5:43 pm
New Moon Image
Jan 16th New Moon 9:29 pm
First Quarter Moon Image
Jan 24th First Quarter 4:55 pm
Full Moon Image
Jan 31st Full Moon 8:27 am


Wednesday January 3 and Thursday January 4th 2018 the Quadrantid Meteor Shower will radiate from the north, near the handle of the Big Dipper. Bright moonlight from the Frost SuperMoon Sunday 1st, will reduce the quantity of meteors to about 40 per/hr.from a dark sky site. There may be a few fireballs as a surprise. Some meteors my be visible mid evening but the most intense are predicted to occur 2 a.m. and 4-6 a.m. both mornings. It depends upon sky conditions--clouds or fog. The source of the Quadrantids is an asteroid 2003 EHI.

Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for the Quadrantids:

  • 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


No visible evening planets
Two SuperMoons

01- The FROST SuperMOON is full at 9:24 p.m. EST. The closest full Moon this year at 221,600 miles from Earth.The full Moon rises in ENE by sunset to the right of the Gemini Twins.
03- Early QUADRANTID METEORS may be visible by late evening radiating from the NNE.
08- LAST QUARTER MOON occurs 5:25 p.m and rises after Midnight.
16- NEW MOON occurs 9:17 p.m.
17-20- The young crescent Moon glides higher in the SW. Binoculars reveal dark Earthshine on the lunar surface.
23- At 8 p.m. the Moon lies 5 degrees below blue-green Uranus in the south.
24- FIRST QUARTER MOON occurs at 5:20 p.m.
26- By nightfall the Moon floats near Aldebaran in the V-shaped Hyades star cluster in Taurus, Bull. The star Aldebaran is the Bull's red eye. The Hyades cluster is known as the Bull's face. The Pleiades cluster (Seven Sisters) shimmer above the Moon.
29- At dusk the nearly full Moon shines to the right of the Gemini Twins
31- The BLUE SuperMOON rises in ENE at sunset.

Aries, Ram chases Pegasus, Winged Horse, lower in the west. Cygnus, Swan becomes the Northern Cross on the NW horizon. The Royal Family turns toward the NW: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda, Perseus, Hero. The Pleiades star cluster overhead leads Taurus, Bull toward the Zenith. The red giant Aldebaran winks from the V-shaped Hyades cluster in Taurus. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer into the north.The Beehive cluster follows the Gemini Twins: Castor & Pollux higher in the East. Orion, Hunter, strides toward the south in pursuit of the Bull. Procyon, Little Dog in the east follows Orion. Brilliant blue Sirius, a nearby star, sparkles in Orion's Big Dog in the SE. Late evening, Leo, Lion climbs above the eastern horizon. The big dipper appears in NE.


4 planets visible in the east.
BLUE MOON Partial Eclipse

01- At dawn Mercury reaches its highest altitude in the ESE.To the right of Mercury, huge Scorpius cllimbs above the SE horizon. Bright Jupiter glows 3 degrees from ruddy Mars above Scorpius.
02- Mars and bright Jupiter 3 degrees apart in Libra in the SE. Mercury near the SE horizon, left of red supergiant Antares in Scorpius.
03- Earth orbits closest to the Sun (perihelion) 1 a.m. EST at 91,401,983 miles. The Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun during winter and the Southern Hemisphere is closer to the Sun during its summer.
The QUADRANTID METEOR SHOWER may be visible radiating from the north from an asteroid, 30-50 per/hr. in bright moonlight, 2-4 a.m.with a brief period of high activity. A few fireballs may be visible. Before sunrise Saturn appears on the SE horizon below Mercury. Four planets line-up in SE: Saturn, Mercury, bright Jupiter, Mars at the top.
05- The Moon escorts the Lion westward.
06/07-At dawn Jupiter & Mars dance 0.3 degrees apart in SE.
08- At dawn, Jupiter & Mars 0.7 degrees apart.
09- At dawn, Jupiter & Mars 1.2 degrees apart in Libra. Pluto conjunct the Sun 5 a.m.and not visible.
11/12- Latest Sunrise, Miami, FL 7:09:05 EST.
11- The Moon lies 4 degrees from Jupiter at 1 a.m. The Moon floats 5 degrees left of Mars at 5 a.m.
At dawn, Mercury descends to Saturn 2.2 degrees apart near the SE horizon.
12- Saturn and Mercury now 1.1 degrees apart on the SE horizon.
The waning Moon escorts huge Scorpius above the SE horizon.
13- Mercury & Saturn 0.7 degree apart on the SE horizon.
15- The old Moon rises to the left of Mercury. Saturn now 3 degrees above Mercury.
18- Silver Saturn climbs 6 degrees away from Mercury setting onto the SE horizon.
21- Mercury slips into the glow of sunrise.
28- Ruddy Mars leads Scorpius above the SSE horizon.
31- BLUE MOON - 2nd full moon in a calendar month.
5:51 a.m. Penumbral shadow begins on the bright Moon in the west.
6:48 a.m. Partial lunar eclipse
7:02 a.m. Moonset
7:51 a.m. totality begins (Moon below western horizon)
8:27 a.m. Blue Moon reaches full phase
8:30 a.m. Max. totality

Pleiades cluster lead Taurus, Bull low in the west. The Gemini Twins swing into the NW. Orion, Hunter, WSW. Brilliant Sirius sparkles high in the SW. Leo, Lion crawls overhead. Spica in Virgo in the south. Libra in SSE. Mars & Jupiter above Scorpius in SE. Vega appears on the NE horizon. Bright Arcturus in the NE. 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.


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.