Welcome to SFAAA & Fox Observatory

Free Public Viewings every Saturday Night

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Fox Obervatory
at Markham Park   

Fox Observatory is located
in Markham park,
Sunrise, FL 33333

Map & Address >
Find us in the park >

time

Every Saturday,
After sunset

Summer Hours
(during daylight saving time)
Sunset to about 11:30 PM
Winter Hours
(during standard time)
Sunset to about 10:30 PM

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Observing the planets, stars, nebulas, the moon & more...

Our telescopes will focus on some of the coolest sights in the sky.

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Become a member

Whether you're new to stargazing or have been enjoying the night sky for years, our club has plenty to offer. From special events and resources to hands-on observing aids, we've got something for everyone. We love when members get involved in our activities, helping us all learn and enjoy astronomy together.

SFAAA exists because of our  members.  Please consider becoming a member.  Signing up is quick and easy.
 
 

General

$20.00

per year

Stellar

$100.00

per year

Galaxy

$500.00

per year

Universal

$1000.00

per year

Come join us and start your adventure with the stars!

SFAAA keeps members connected through our Google Groups. Here, you can plan spontaneous stargazing trips, exchange news, ask questions, and talk about your astronomy experiences. Being a member also means you get special access to the 'The Meridian', our colorful, monthly newsletter.

When you join SFAAA, you'll get to use the observatory on members-only nights. After six months and some training,  members can be observatory certified.

 
 

Our Saturday Night Public Viewing is a fun time to volunteer, teach visitors about the stars, and enjoy the night sky together (broward county background
check is needed, mandated by broward county).

SFAAA has been a part of the community since 1966 and is based in Markham Park at the Fox Observatory. We welcome everyone to our monthly meetings, which take place at the observatory on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm.

 

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Frequently asked questions

How to get to Markham park?
Fox is located inside Markham Park.  Come in though the main gate, turn left, and take your first right immediately before the dog park.  Fox is the flat roof building with the red lights.
Is there a fee to the park or for the observatory?
There is no fee to enter Markham Park after dark.  There will be nobody at the entrance booth, just drive on in.
 
There is no admission fee for Fox Observatory.  SFAAA is a non-profit organization.  SFAAA is funded by memberships and donations.

Please consider becoming a member. 
Can I call before I come?
Please call with any other questions or even to check viewing conditions at the Observatory before driving to the location.
Our phone is (954) 384-0442
What is the exact address to the observatory?
16001 West State Road 84, Sunrise, Florida  33326 
 

About Us

About the Fox Observatory
In the late 1960s Dr. Joseph Dennison Fox completed his tenure as Professor of Astronomy and History at the University of Puerto Rico. He and his wife Sylvia then retired to North Miami near Miami Gardens Drive and US-1. He brought with him an optical tube assembly for a 6-inch f/15 refractor. This telescope, in its updated and restored state, resides in the Fox Observatory on the grounds of Broward County’s Markham Park.
 
In 1965 the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association Inc. was formed. In 1970 Dr. Fox joined and in June of 1973 he donated the Brandon refractor to the club. The refractor was to be housed in a yet-to-be-built observatory located west of Fort Lauderdale. By July of 1974 it had been tentatively decided to name the observatory for Dr. Fox. Initial plans for the grounds, building and roof were drawn up 7-13-74. The County okayed the final architectural drawings on November 10, 1975, and the building permit was issued on Thursday, November 13, the observatory was officially named for Dr. Fox a week later, on the 20th. on Sunday, March 20th, 1977 at 4:30 p.m. (one year behind schedule) the Fox Astronomical Observatory was dedicated.

You can read more about Dr. Fox, the history of the club, Fox Observatory and the Brandon Refractor here. The Fox Observatory houses many great pieces of viewing equipment. In addition to the amazing Brandon Refractor, the primary observatory equipment consists of our 14 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain @ F/10 and several Dobsonian reflecting telescopes.  Apart from the observatory’s scopes, many of our members have scopes of their own. On a good clear night it’s possible to have as many as 15 telescopes or more setup in various places around the observatory grounds. The observatory is open to the public every Saturday night, rain or shine. We will open at dusk, and generally wrap things up around midnight, weather permitting. Groups and individuals from the area or visiting South Florida are cordially invited to visit the Fox Observatory. Never hesitate to call and find out what’s going on each Saturday night at 954-384-0442.
 
About South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association aka SFAAA
The South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association was founded in 1965, with as its principal motivation to provide information and create an opportunity to participate. Ever since, its members have been bringing the universe closer to all South Floridians. From the innocent wonder of the children to the amazement of the adults, every night is another great adventure. The SFAAA is a nonprofit organization, and has been incorporated in the State of Florida since 1966. The association presently makes its home just inside of Markham Park.  at the Fox Observatory. Anyone wishing to attend the association’s monthly meeting is welcome and encouraged to do so.  Meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month via Zoom Online meetings starting at 7:30pm. Zoom invitiations as sent to the membership via email.

The easiest way to join is to sign up on line but anyone wishing to join the club can do so at one of the monthly meetings or during a visit to the observatory on Saturday nights. As a paid Member your activities can include: learning to use a telescope, video and slide shows, star parties, astronomy day, CCD imaging, observatory operations and special projects. Observatory certified members may open and operate the observatory on days when the observatory is not open to the public. Members wishing to be certified to open and operate the observatory and its equipment should apply to the program director for observatory certification.

Our Address

Fox Observatory, Markham Park Rd, Sunrise, FL 33326

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Directions at the park

1. Make a right turn from FL-84 to the park entrance and enter the park – there is no fee to enter after dark

2. Make a left after you pass the entrance on the 4-way stop

3. Make a right at the first lane, before the dog park. You will see the red lights of the observatory

4. Please be mindful and don't leave your headlights pointed at the observatory

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Fox Observatory

Address: 16001 West State Road 84,
Sunrise, Florida  33326 

Phone: (954) 384-0442

SFAAA

South Flordia Amateur Astronomers Association