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Winter Star Party
Winter Observing In The Tropics
Great Speakers
Dark Skies
Memories That Will Last Forever

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 WINTER STAR PARTY 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

The Girl Scout Campground has plenty of room for tent camping and a limited amount of room for RVs (see registration form for prices). Chickee bunks are also available. Each chickee 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 WINTER STAR PARTY 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 WINTER STAR PARTY Registration Notification Postcards will be sent out in early September 2017.


Winter Star Party 2017


WSP Award Winning Photos

IC443 - (c)Richard Wright

Milky Way and Moonrise Conjunction - (c)Jose Cardozo

Solar Proms1 - (c)Jim Sweeney

WSP 2017 Deep Sky Photos

Angel Nebula - (c)Josh Smith

Centaurs A NGC5128 - (c)Robert King

IC-410 - (c)John O'Neill

IC405 - (c)Jonathan Talbot

Omega Centari - (c)Robert King

Orion Below the Belt - (c)Joseph Bohanon

WSP 2017 Wide Field Photos

A Shot in the Dark - (2017)Harry D. Hanbury

Cannon - - (2017)Harry D. Hanbury

Mining the Sky - (2017)Harry D. Hanbury

Night Cannon - - (2017)Harry D. Hanbury

Oh Ryan (c)???

Orion Wide - (c)Joseph Bohanon

Solar System Photos

Moon - (c)Richard Wright

Solar Proms1 - (c)Jim Sweeney

Solar Proms4 - (c)Jim Sweeney

Sun Spots - (c)Jim Sweeney