- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SCOUT KEY, Fla. (AP) - About 500 amateur and professional astronomers are setting up telescopes in the lower Florida Keys this week to observe southern constellations, comets and stars during the 31st annual Winter Star Party.

Event founder Tippy D’Auria said Monday the Keys’ latitude of 24.5 degrees means astronomers can see down to minus 65 degrees on the horizon. That enables them to view celestial objects that can’t be spotted from most other locations in the contiguous United States.

The Florida Keys’ clear night skies and relative absence of city lights contribute to prime viewing conditions.

The Star Party also features workshops and presentations by speakers including planetary photography expert Dr. Donald Parker.

The gathering concludes Sunday and is hosted by Miami’s Southern Cross Astronomical Society, one of America’s oldest amateur astronomical societies.



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Online

Winter Star Party: https://www.scas.org

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