- From 08 Mon Feb 2016 to 14 Sun Feb 2016 February 8, 2016 February 14, 2016 Tranquility Bay
Annual Winter Star Party
Prime viewing of southern constellations, comets and stars is to be the “starring attraction” that draws hundreds of amateur and professional astronomers to the Lower Florida Keys Monday through Sunday, Feb. 8-14.
As many as 600 astronomers and astro-imagers from around the world are to gather for the 32nd annual Winter Star Party, held beside the Atlantic Ocean at Camp Wesumkee, a Girl Scout camp at mile marker 34.5 U.S. Highway 1 on Scout Key.
The event’s primary attraction for astronomers is the large number of southern constellations, comets, stars and other celestial objects that are visible from the Florida Keys — virtually the only place in the continental United States where they can be seen. The Keys’ southern location, “steady” skies and relative absence of large-scale artificial lighting at night provide optimal viewing conditions.
As well as nightly stargazing opportunities, Winter Star Party participants can attend lectures and presentations by nationally recognized astronomers and guest speakers.
Highlights are to include a presentation by James Albury, a co-host of the nationally syndicated PBS television program “Star Gazers” and the director of Santa Fe College’s Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville, Florida.
Dr. Mike Reynolds, the executive director and eclipse coordinator for the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, is to speak on “The 2017 Great American Eclipse.” Other scheduled presenters include Robert Fitzgerald, an ambassador for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, and astronomer and telescope maker Mike Lockwood.
Attendees also can shop for astronomy equipment from on-site vendors, participate in photo contests, compete for prizes, learn what’s new in the field and share observing ideas and astro-imaging techniques with fellow aficionados. Special camp activities are to be arranged for young astronomers.
Hosted by Miami’s Southern Cross Astronomical Society, the Winter Star Party is open to the public as well as to SCAS members. Registration is required before the event and tickets are not available at the gate.
Event information and registration: www.scas.org