Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Star Party at the VC

Before sunset, all scopes on Jupiter and Venus.

Our astronomy club held a Star Party on Saturday night March 10, at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center in Palm Desert, CA.

The event was well attended; we counted over 60 people at one time, and had around 100 during the course of the evening.

There were a lot of families with children attending. The kids were really excited to be able to look through the telescopes - many of which were taller than they are.

Jupiter (left) and Venus on Tues 13 March
Three planets were visible: brilliant Jupiter and Venus setting together in the west, and reddish Mars up by the constellation Leo the Lion. We also had good views of the Orion Nebula, the Double Cluster in Perseus, the Pleiades, the Hyades, and other open clusters in the constellations Auriga, Canis Major, and Gemini.

Most of us also got to see an Iridium flare, which is a bright flash in the sky caused by sunlight reflecting off the shiny surface of an orbiting Iridium communications satellite. The Heavens-Above web site (link below) has Iridium Flare predictions, and lists visible passes of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the International Space Station (ISS) as well as other night sky info.

The next public Star Party will be on Saturday April 28, from 7-10 pm at the same location.

Astronomical Society of the Desert
Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

No comments:

Post a Comment