Fox Observatory is located within Markham Park. This place is primarily known for its bike trails, target range, and campground. I’ve only been there at night to stargaze, however, so I can’t speak to the other amenities. All I know is that the observatory provides people like me with no space-viewing tools or planet-locating knowledge to see incredible stuff.
The park entrance fee is normally $1.50 but it’s waived after dark. The observatory itself is free and is open to the public on Saturday nights until midnight. It’s a small building housing 2 telescopes and an education room. Members of the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association are on-site to answer questions and direct the telescopes toward the good shit. There’s a big ass telescope housed in a dome on the lawn with photographs sent to a projector inside the education room. Anyone can bring their telescopes and post up, but since I don’t have one I just go inside and see what’s cooking.
Last night was Saturn’s opposition night, meaning earth was between Saturn and the sun so it was the closest we will be to Saturn. It was pretty incredible seeing it and the ring so clearly. Jupiter was also in clear view so I could see the bands. Beautiful. I took a picture of Saturn with my iPhone against the telescope lens in a feeble attempt to capture the moment. It was actually incredibly clear and bright with my naked eyes. With the phone It looks like garbage but who cares here it is, you can still make out the ring.
Sometimes we go outside and just look up at the stars since it’s so dark in that area. We went one night during a meteor shower and saw some shooting stars. Small but very cool place.