Astronomy Programs

A man shines a green laser into the night sky to point out celestial objects.
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.


2020-2021 Schedule

*PLEASE NOTE*: Due to covid safety concerns, it has yet to be determined whether the programs will be in person or virtual presentations. Please check the official Big Cypress National Preserve Facebook and Instagram Pages for updates in early December.

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, December 12, 2020
  • Saturday, January 9, 2021
  • Saturday, February 13, 2021
  • Saturday, March 13, 2021
Questions? Call: (239)695-1149 and leave a message.
A man stands on a ladder to look through a telescope.
Big Cypress has some of the darkest night skies in Florida.


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. 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: October 14, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141


(239) 695-2000

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