Astronomy Programs

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Visitors enjoying the night sky at Big Cypress National Preserve
 

Join us for an evening of dark sky education and celebration! View one of the darkest night skies in the eastern United States by attending a ranger-led astronomy program at Big Cypress National Preserve this winter.

Presentations will include constellation tours and telescope viewing (weather permitting) of astronomical objects including stars, star clusters, planets, nebulae, and galaxies. Here's a peek at images from past night sky programs.

These events are free and open to the public.

 

2016-2017 SCHEDULE

The National Park Service, along with the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association, the International Dark Sky Association-South Florida Chapter, and the Everglades Astronomical Society will be conducting night sky outings on the following dates and times through the winter:

  • Saturday, December 3, 2016, at 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, January 21, 2017, at 7:00 PM
  • Friday, February 10, 2017, at 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, March 25, 2017, at 8:00 PM Cancelled due to Parliament Wildfire activities
 
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Big Cypress has some of the darkest night skies in Florida.

WHERE?

Programs will be conducted at the southern end of Seagrape Drive, where the Welcome Center is located (east of SR 29, between MM 73 and 74 on US41).

Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center
33000 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141
 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Outdoor seating will not be available during the interpretive program, telescope viewing, and constellation tours. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets if seating is desired. Night temperatures can be cool and mosquitoes may be present. Visitors should be prepared for weather conditions.

Presentations may be conducted in the welcome center auditorium if weather prevents night sky viewing. As space is limited inside the welcome center auditorium, seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Pants, long sleeve shirts or jackets, and bug spray are recommended. Participants are encouraged to bring a red-light flashlight or headlamp for walking to and from the viewing area. Individuals and local astronomy societies are welcome to bring personal binoculars and telescopes.

Got questions? Call us at (239) 695-1149 or (239) 695-1164 for more information.

 
Night Sky program BICY Dec 2014
Ranger points out celestial objects to onlooking visitors.
Dark skies are essential natural, scientific, cultural, and economic resources. National parks, including Big Cypress National Preserve, are home to some of the last remaining dark skies in the country and are committed to protecting the night sky resource.

Learn more about the importance of natural dark sky and how to minimize light pollution.

 

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141

Phone:

(239) 695-2000

Contact Us