Astronomy Programs

Starry night sky above trees
The beauty of 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.

 

2020-2021 Schedule

*PLEASE NOTE*: Due to covid safety concerns, the programs will be virtual presentations.

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

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Cypress Wars: Episode III – A Bright Future

"Situated between Miami and Naples, Big Cypress National Preserve is in danger from the effects of ambient light emitting from nearby cities. What will it take to make sure the night sky in the preserve is protected for future generations? How can humans answer the call to ensure that we don't drown out our dark night skies? What impacts does this light have on the species that call this place home? Join our night sky rangers as they dive deeper into these questions in the last episode of Cypress Wars.”

Following the Cypress Wars program, the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Assocation is hosting a virtual telescope viewing event from the Fox Observatory. Please visit their Facebook page to find all the details.

Join us!

If you have questions or want more details, please call the Night Sky Rangers at 239-695-1149

 
A man stands on a ladder to look through a telescope.
Big Cypress has some of the darkest night skies in Florida.

Where?

Programs will be conducted as virtual events at this time.
 

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. Please no white flashlights as it affects our night vision. Only flashlights with red lenses will be allowed. 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.

 
A ranger points out celestial objects with a green laser to onlooking visitors.
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.

Last updated: February 18, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141

Phone:

(239) 695-2000

Contact Us