Fox Astronomical Observatory is located within Broward County’s Markham Park. The Observatory is open to the public only on Saturdays and only from Sunset until Midnight. Due to the single day operation and County established closing time of Midnight combined with the level of light pollution at the Markham Park location, the SFAAA has no special events planned for meteor shower viewing from Fox Astronomical Observatory.
Meteor showers are best viewed 2-5 AM from a very dark location. No observatory, telescope, or binoculars are required. You’ll need a very dark site as far to the center or Florida and away from city light pollution as your driving tolerance and safety will permit.
The site needs to be accessible to the public after Midnight, no private property, no recreational areas that close at Sunset, no areas that permit only a limited number of hours parking. Simply lay on a blanket or laid back lawn chair and look up to the open sky in the direction of the named meteor shower (the constellation Perseus for the Perseids). Before putting your blanket down check for insects. If you bring a thick exercise mat to put under your blanket you might fit it more comfortable and might even be able to lay it on cement or asphalt.
For meteor observing people have gone to the 3rd boat ramp parking lot going North on US 27 about 6.25 miles North of the I-75 interchange on the West side of US 27. It’s in Broward County, immediately South of the Twentysix Mile Bend before the Broward-Palm Beach County line. It’s darker there than at Markham Park and certainly darker than in the city. It is not as dark there as it gets in the core of the Everglades. However, it’s all paved road to get there. There is some parking. There are no bathroom or other facilities, no food or water. Properly dispose of your trash. There is no Sunset closing gate. There is no entrance fee. There is no security on duty at the site. There is a chickee hut for getting out of the rain. Travel at your own risk. Do go with others. Do take your mobile phone and car charger with you. Do take multiple vehicles. Do remember to take appropriate mosquito defense.
The site is officially known as the Weasel Trail boat ramp FW-R-42 within the Francis S. Taylor WCA-3 WMA at the L-38 West canal. The SFAAA has no public observing meteor shower group trips planned for this site. The site is managed by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). The site is located in the Florida Everglades. Stay well clear of water and deep grass. That’s where the alligators and snakes live. Details regarding the site can be found here…
SFAAA Observatory Director