FLORIDA OBSERVATORIES, PLANETARIUMS & UNIVERSITY ASTRONOMY PROGRAMS
FLORIDA OBSERVATORIES (many have public viewing nights, check their websites for details)
Crosby Observatory at Orlando Science Center (LINK UPDATED) 10" Refractor - admission fee to Science Center.
Eastern Florida State College Observatory CLOSED DUE TO DAMAGE FROM HURRICANE IRMA. When in operation, they use a 24" Ritchey-
Chrétien telescope available for public viewing Friday and Saturday nights from sunset until 10 p.m..
Egan Observatory at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers- 16" Ritchey-Chrétien telescope and 5 smaller computer guided go-to telescopes.
Here's a google maps satellite view of the observatory dome, and here's a link with more info about the observatory. Public access through Southwest Florida Astronomical Society.
Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach Observatory - Aside from their many smaller telescope, the have an observatory with a 1 meter Ritchey-Chrétien telescope (see images on this page.) Free public viewing open houses are to be held approximately ~6 times per year. During open houses there will be a public lecture at 7 p.m. and observations from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Amateur Astronomers will be also sometimes be invited to set up telescopes outside for public viewing.
The Embry-Riddell Telescope is the largest public accessible telescope in Florida with a 1 meter (39.4") primary mirror, a 40 cm (15.7" secondary mirror), with an 8 meter focal length (f/8). The primary mirror weighs 700 lbs, and the total scope weighs 5500 lbs (not including the massive 6 story pier that it sits on that is separate from the building!) The largest refractor riding as an outrigger scope is an 8" APM. There are also a number of other outriggers that are Takahashi's and Vixen.
The Student control room can be seen in one of the images below (which is not the same as the local control near the scope, and I've got a shot of the Infra Red dome surveillance cameras too.)
Farrout Observatory, Dade City, FL ("Where Tampa's Astronomers Cluster")
Florida Atlantic Observatory, (14" Celestron Edge HD SCT on a Losmandy Titan 50, and Daystar filter for live Sun Prominences), Boca Raton
Fox Observatory (16"), Sunrise, FL
Florida Southewestern State College - Punta Gorda Florida
Kissimmee Park Observatory, Kissimmee LINK UPDATED - a private observatory by amateur astronomer Dave Hearn who likes to do public outreach. Contact Dave for group or private visits.
Nicholas Copernicus Observatory at University of Miami
(their website may have been taken down?)
Ortega Telescope (32"/.8 meter) at FIT
Rosemary Hill Observatory (30"), Bronson FL, and this is the Observatory Link
Stocker AstroScience Center at FIU, Miami - 24" telescope from ACE and a 12" Meade.
Star Fields Observatory (private), Chiefland
Univ. of Florida Campus Teaching Observatory, Gainsville FL - Clark 8-inch Refractor by Alvan Clark & Sons - 203 mm / 2920 mm = f/14
12.5-inch Cassegrain Reflector by Army Map Service - 318 mm / 5220 mm = f/16 with a photoelectric photometer; small auxiliary telescope for imaging Moon with CCD.
12-inch Schmidt- Cassegrain by Meade Instruments - 305 mm / 3048 mm = f/10, on movable tripod; computer controlled.
8 inch Schmidt- Cassegrain by Meade Instruments - 200 mm / 2000 mm = f/10
Six telescopes that can be mounted on permanent piers outside the observatory building.
5-inch Schmidt- Cassegrain by Celestron International - 127 mm / 1200 mm = f/10
University of Central Florida's Robinson Observatory, Orlando, FL - 20" Richey Chretien telescope and a bunch of 8" Meade Schmidt Cassegrains, here's The Robinson Observatory website, and their Open House Schedule
University of Florida Radio Jove Observatory
Bishop Planetarium - Bradenton (their website is being re-done).
Broward College Buehler Planetarium - Davie
Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium - Fort Myers
Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences Planetarium
Eastern Florida State College Planetarium - Cocoa
Florida Southern College Miller Planetarium - Lakeland, currently closed, and their website was taken down in 2014 (after they had been closed for several years.) They are trying to get funds together to re-open it. Their structure is the only observatory in the world designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and was founded in 1959.
Florida State University Pat Thomas Planetarium - Tallahassee
Indian River State College Halstrom Planetarium - Fort Pierce
Miami Science Museum Space Transit Planetarium CLOSED (their old location is now closed, see the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and Planetarium.)
Santa Fe College Kika Silva Pla Planetarium - Gainesville
Seminole State College Buehler Planetarium (Also known as the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida). UNFORTUNATELY THE LINK TO SSC PLANETARIUM HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM HERE DUE TO ISSUES ENCOUNTERED WHILST VISITING THAT WEBSITE. I'VE REPORTED IT TO THE PLANETARIUM'S DIRECTOR, BUT PERHAPS THEY EITHER CANNOT RESOLVE THE PROBLEM OR DO NOT WISH TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM, AS I HAVEN'T RECEIVED ANY RESPONSE, AND THE PROBLEM HAS PERSISTED FOR SEVERAL MONTHS (up to at least Oct. 1st, 2019, when it was last observed by me). I STILL LIKE THEM AND HOPE THAT THEY CAN EVENTUALLY RESOLVE THE PROBLEM, AS I'D LIKE TO LINK TO THEM AGAIN.
St. Petersburg College Planetarium
"Free shows are held every Friday night at 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. when the college is in session. The planetarium is also available free of charge to clubs, school groups and other community organizations by special request."
Tampa Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) The Saunders Planetarium
Florida University Astronomy Programs
Florida Atlantic University Dept. of Physics
Florida Institute of Technology Physics and
Florida International University Dept. of Physics
Florida State University (FSU) Astrophysics and http://astrophysics.physics.fsu.edu/astrowiki/doku.php
University of Central Florida Physics
University of Florida Dept. of Astronomy
(All images on this page by Jason Higley)
Miami's Stocker Astroscience Center at FIU released a video showing their facility with a 24" telescope and mentions their star parties and 4 remote telescopes around the world.
Above is the public-accessible 10" refractor telescope at the Orlando Science Center. The operator says that this was Mr. Byers last 10" refractor (the optics were also by him.) There is significant vibration from the surrounding visitor floor (even though they tried to isolate the pier from the gantry.) People can access it on clear Friday and Saturday nights (when visiting the science center with paid admission, however there are sometimes ways to get significant discounts, up to free access.)
The 0.8 meter (32 inch) Ortega Telescope at the Olin Observatory at Florida Institute of Technology (as of Oct. 2018.)
Above you can get a sense of how high up the new 1 meter telescope is at Embry Riddle in Daytona, Florida (my estimate being around ~6 stories.) Photo by me on 7 July, 2013.
This is the amazing massive pier to isolate the new 1 meter telescope from the building being constructed around it.
Notice how the giant telescope pier directly under the dome angles off at the last level of the new Embry Riddle Observatory..
CHECK OUT DAVE HEARN'S KISSIMMEE PARK OBSERVATORY (privately owned)