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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

SCAS Program at FIU

Have you seen our major SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS in the southern latitudes? Can you show the stunning summer night stars to your family and friends? Learn the location, mythology and history of our major summer stars. Discussions and refreshments complete the free SCAS program. Weather permitting, the FIU Observatory roof will be open after the program! SCAS will return to FIU September 20. Park in the campus garage, west side of SW 109 Ave./SW 8 St. and follow the SCAS signs across the patio into CP-145.

SATURDAY 5/18th- Weather permitting- FULL MOON Star Party- 8 p.m. Deering Estate at Cutler, east end of SW 167 St. Palmetto Bay 33157

Public Star Parties 8-10:30 p.m. Saturdays all year:
FIU Observatory SW 109 Ave./SW 8 St. W. Miami
Bill Sadowski Park, SW 176 St./SW 79 Ave. Palmetto Bay 33157
D'Auria Observatory, 23325 SW 217 Ave. Homestead 33031


On selected Saturdays or Sundays during the coming year, weather permitting, come see SCAS free, safe solarviewing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., near the ticket entrance at ZooMiami. 12400 SW 152 Street. The Sun is in its quiet time but a sudden fiery prominence can always appear. Students interested in solar energy may benefit by this program


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

Bring chairs, binoculars, dysfunctional telescopes, bug repellent.

Starting last month and continuing on the D'Auria Observatory will be open each and every Saturday night. The observatory is located at 23325 SW 217th Ave, Homestead.

No white lights, lasers, litter, pets or alcohol at our SCAS Star Parties.

Please be reminded that there is no public vehicle traffic permitted in the observatory property. Park outside with your headlights towards the road so there will be no light splash onto the observing field. When you walk thru the gate, please be mindful of the other guests and astronomers observing and imaging so no cell phone flashlights. Pictures are permitted but please ask first.

SCAS membership information- please contact


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.


May 11th, 18th, and 25th
Bill Sadowsky Park
17555 SW 79th Ave.
Palmetto Bay, Fl. 33157

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.
Please watch our Facebook page and our website for all future events, updates and cancellations.



Each month on the Saturday closest to the new moon, 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 REMAIN OPEN DURING THE NEW MOON STAR PARTY!

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

Starry Night Pro

Sky Safari

Outdoor Sport Optics

Precise Parts

Telescope Engineering Company

Explorer Scientific

ADM Accessories

Day Star Filters

Software Bisque

Losmandy Astronomical Products

Tele Vue

Astro Mart

SCAS STARGAZER MAY 2019 - Barb Yager

Lunar Timetable:

New Moon Image
May 4th New Moon 7:03 pm
First Quarter Moon Image
May 1th First Quarter Moon 8:55 pm
Full Moon Image
May 18th Full Moon 12:33 pm
Last Quarter Moon Image
May 26th Last Quarter Moon 6:34 pm



ETA AQUARID METEOR SHOWER becomes most visible 3-6 the predawn May 5th & 6th. Early Aquarids may be visible late evening. About 30 per/hr. may be visible in clear dark skies radiating from Aquarius low in the SE. Some Aquarids may be visible to mid-month. Better views of the Aquarids from Miami than from NYC. The Earth cruises through the debris tail of old Comet Halley and converts the tiny specs of space dust into colorful celestial fireworks at thousands of miles per second. Only equipment required is a lounge chair or blanket to spread onto the grass. A sliver of a young Moon floats briefly low in the west.

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


Mars the lonely evening planet early May and the Eta Aquarids 5/06.

04- NEW MOON- occurs at 7:03 p.m.
05- A 1-day old Moon hangs briefly above the WNW horizon. Aldebaran (red eye of Taurus the Bull) winks from the V-shaped Hyades cluster upper left of the Moon and the delicate 7 Sisters (Pleiades cluster) dance upper right of the Moon. They set early. Great photography!
06- At dusk, the young Moon floats 2 degrees above Aldebaran. Aim binoculars to dark Earthshine on the crescent Moon. Orion, Hunter sits on the western horizon. Ruddy Mars leads the Bull by the horns toward the western horizon.
07- The Moon briefly covers the star Zeta Tauri (tip of the Bull's horn) visible in parts of the SE U.S. The 7 Sisters and the Hyades star clusters rest on the NW horizon.
09- Mars enters Gemini in the west.
10- Aim binoculars to the Moon snuggling with the Beehive star cluster.
11- FIRST QUARTER MOON occurs at 8:58 p.m. and leads Leo, Lion westward.
18- The BLOSSOM MOON is FULL at 5:25 p.m. and rises in the east before sunset in the west.
19- Mars lies 1 degree from M-35 in the WNW. Orion Hunter slips below the western horizon.
20- Late evening the Moon floats near Jupiter.
26- LAST QUARTER MOON occurs 12:33 p.m.
27- Mercury appears on the WNW horizon.
31- Mercury rises 4 degrees higher in the WNW.

Bright Capella guides Auriga, the Charioteer, across the NW. The Gemini Twins: Castor & Pollux stride lower in the west. The Beehive cluster follows the Twins. Leo, Lion crawls westward. The Big Dipper hangs in the north. Bright Arcturus sparkles in the east beyond the Dipper' handle. Libra shimmers in the SE. Corvus, Crow flies ahead of Spica, in Virgo, in the south. Omega Centauri, a stunning star cluster of a million stars, shimmers below Spica low in the south. Hercules leads bright Vega and the vast Summer Triangle above the NE horizon.

Next free SCAS program at FIU "SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS" 8 p.m. Friday, May 17th, 2019 in CP-145 lecture hall Main campus.


5 planets in the predawn sky.
Venus, Mercury, Neptune, Jupiter and Saturn
Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower.

01- At dawn, Mercury descends onto the eastern horizon. Brilliant Venus, Morning Star, glows 8 degrees to the upper right of Mercury. The waning Moon rises to the right of Venus.,
02- The old Moon appears below Venus in the east.
04- In morning twilight silver Saturn floats left of the Teaspoon in the south. In the SSW the tilted Sagittarian Teapot `pours' onto the stinger tail of the huge Scorpion. Jupiter glows above Scorpius.
05/06- The ETA AQUARID METEOR SHOWER (debris from Comet Halley) may be most intense 3-6 a.m. radiating from the SE. The shower may produce 30/hr.
19- In the predawn, the full Moon leads Scorpius across the SW.
20- The bright Moon glides near Jupiter in the SSW.
23- The Moon lies near Saturn in the south.
26- The waning Moon glides above Fomalhaut in Aquarius in the SE.
30- At dawn, the Pleiades cluster rises above the ENE horizon.
31- In morning twilight aim binoculars to ENE horizon: delicate 7 Sisters (Pleiades cluster) dance on the horizon--brilliant Venus, Morning Star, takes her final bow on the ENE stage--waning Moon rises to right of dazzling Venus.

Corvus, Crow leads Spica, in Virgo low in the west. Libra shimmers in the SW. Huge Scorpius crawls across the SSW. The tilted Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) in the south pours onto the stinger tail of huge Scorpius in the SSW. Capricornus, Sea Goat, plods across the SE. Fomalhaut twinkles in Aquarius in the ESE. Dim Neptune lies in Aquarius. Pegasus (Winged Horse) climbs higher in the east. The Pleiades arrive in the ENE. Hercules leads Vega and the Summer Triangle overhead. 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.