"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
LIGHTS OUT AMERICA
SATURDAY 3/28- Global project via time zones. Turn off outdoor lights 8:30-9:30 p.m. at residential, unused sports fields, race tracks and playgrounds, commercial, industrial, seaside hotels, homes, condos and skyscrapers. Save $ -- protect migrating birds, sea turtle hatchlings; restore human night vision and enjoy our natural wonder overhead. Install shades on outdoor light fixtures to direct illumination to the ground for max safety--not into your neighbors' windows! Intense megawatt outdoor lights are not necessary on crowded house lots. Stadium bank lights should be aimed at the ground, not 360 degrees in horizontal angles.
by Barb Yager
For more than thirty years Don Parker and I were dear friends. Although aware of his lingering lung illness (he smoked like a chimney) losing him so suddenly last month sent shock waves that still linger. As a rookie Southern Cross member I was impressed with his energy and devotion to his hobby producing outstanding images of Mars, later followed by images of Jupiter and Saturn. His SCAS lectures at FIU were always so entertaining and impressive---there on the big screen was Jupiter slowly rotating to show off its bands of rippling storms, the Red Spot, and smaller white storms. Another program would feature his images of Mars with its two white polar caps and dark surface streaks. Don would identify each huge canyon as easily as if they were located on his residential street. He seemed to be enthralled with the latest equipment that quickly produced high quality planetary images. With Don's guidance, his pals Chick Capen, Jeff Beish, Tippy D'Auria, Tom Dobbins, Scott Ireland and Dr. Lester Shalloway caught the passion and began producing superb celestial images, including comets, nebulas and other challenging deep sky objects such as the black patches on Jupiter left from 22 flaming chunks from Comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 in July 1994.
His high level of imaging expertise and research was soon recognized by professional astronomers world wide. Carl Sagan, Cornell University, NY, was one of many who relied on Don to supply images and research material that they did not have the time nor budget to include in their professional observatories. For several years Don was the favorite"keynote speaker" at the Annual Conference hosted by the Astronomical League and at the Miami Museum of Science. Don took one of the earliest images of Comet Halley and we invited a Channel 10 reporter to the Science Museum. She hoped to air it on the 11 pm news. He proudly showed her the image of a small thick black dot against a field of smaller black dots. She was not impressed. Obviously she was expecting a large bright blob with a long tail.
Don was recognized internationally and received impressive awards from the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observations (ALPO) as a former director, and received the Gold Medal of the Oriental Astronomical Association in Tokyo, Japan in 2004 and many, many more. Don and Tom Dobbins authored the book: Introduction to Observing & Photographing the Solar System. Amazingly he managed to produce tons of scientific material while an anesthesiologist at Mercy Hospital.
On a pleasant evening I still hear his deep baritone voice and soft chuckle coming from the stars...
SCAS Congratulates the Winners of the Astrophotography Contest
Note: All other contest entries are located on this page
IMPORTANT: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20th SCAS' program has been cancelled. SCAS will return to FIU CP-145 Friday, March 20th at 8 p.m. Topic: NASA JUNO & NEW HORIZON Missions with Space Scientist Dr. Scott Bolton, San Antonio, Tx.
We have a Star Party every Saturday at Bill Sadowski Park
WSP 2015 Lectures can be downloaded here. These lecture files are large. Make sure that you network connection can handle them.
Become a member of SCAS! Benefits include telescope loaners and access to our top of the line Redland Observatory. Learn more….
Comet Lovejoy continues moving northwest not far from the Pleiades. In February the comet will continue north between Andromeda and Perseus as it fades further, on its way to passing very close by Polaris late next May when it will be a mere 12th magnitude.
SCAS through the Years
SCAS president, Dr. Lester Shalloway has uncovered old pictures from SCAS archives. We have posted a slideshow of this amazing snapshot of SCAS history.