Why is Boca Raton the best place in the world to be an amateur astronomer? There are 100’s reasons why you’d want to be an amateur astronomer in Florida, but lets just focus on the top.
1. Florida Atlantic University Astronomical Observatory. Located on the Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University, the Astronomical Observatory is housed under a dome that is four meters in diameter. They welcome everyone to visit their facilities. Wether you’re college student, faculty or staff member, or just part of the general public you should go down to the observatory and to join their scheduled observations and public viewing events. Their beautiful telescope is mounted on a small platform that looks out of the roof of the building. See space like you never have before and go down to the Florida Atlantic University Astronomical Observatory!
2. South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association. 1965 was the year that the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association was founded. The main goal of the association was to provide the public astronomical information and be a place where the community could participate. Ever since it launched in the 60’s its members have been showcasing the amazing universe South Floridians. Every night is truly a great adventure. Everyone is welcome to go to their events as they often have people come from ages 7 to 77.
Since 1966 the SFAAA has been a nonprofit organization in the State of Florida. Meetings are held on a monthly basis on the the first Thursday of every month at the Fox Observatory inside of Markham Park. They start at 7:30pm. If you want to join the club, you can signup in person at the monthly meeting or online.
Dues are only $20.00 per year and tax deductible.
What do you get for$20.00/year? Each membership fee will cover your whole family and and a monthly electronic newsletter. When you pay to be a member you’ll learn to use a telescope, get videos and slide shows of featured constellations and the cosmos, star parties, access to astronomy day (super fun), and special projects just for you. One of the best features about being a member is the ability to be certified to operate the observatory and its equipment. To apply, please do so with the the observatory director. If you need his contact info you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Kennedy Space Center. The John F. Kennedy Space Center (aka KSC) is the National Aeronautics & Space Administration’s Launch Operations Center. This center supports Launch Complex 39 which was originally built for the Saturn V. It is the largest and most powerful operational launch vehicle ever made. It was originally built for the Apollo Moon landing program created by President John F. Kennedy. In honor of President Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson named it the Kennedy Space Center shortly after his assassination in 1963.
The amazing thing about the Launch Complex 39 is that it has been used to launch every NASA human space flight. It was really built to last.
The Kennedy Space Center is located on Merritt Island, Florida. It is 34 miles long and 6 miles wide, totaling 219 square miles. Approximately13,100 people at the center.
KSC bringing in a lot of money to the florida economy since it’s a major tourist destination. It’s only a one hour drive from the Orlando area making it an easy attraction to visit if you’re already going to Disney World. There is an area inside KSC that is called the Visitor Complex. It offers public tours of the center as well as Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The site also serves as a wildlife sanctuary. One of the cool things about working for the center is that workers can encounter bald eagles, wild boars, panthers, manatees, alligators and diamondback rattlesnakes.