STAR PARTY & DIGITAL ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY AT SKY’S THE LIMIT
Event date: Saturday, February 2
Event time: 6:30 pm-8:30pm (approx. two hours)
Event description: Mars and an Open Star Cluster PLUS Digital Astrophotagraphy
Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center invites stargazers to tour the desert night sky on Saturday, February 2. This free public event will start around 6:30 pm and last approximately 2 hours. The Observatory is at 9697 Utah Trail in Twentynine Palms, just outside the main (north) entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.
A special guest on February 2 is Terry Honyoust, demonstrating the ZWO camera for digital astrophotography.
Mars sets at 10:43 pm. The constellation Canis Major (Large Dog) is found below and to the left of Orion and contains the brightest star in the night sky: Sirius. It is a white star, therefore fairly young, and is one of the closest stars at 8.7 light-years away.
Proxima Centauri, a companion to Alpha Centauri, a bright star found in Southern skies, is the closest star at 4.24 light-years distant. A space ship traveling 45,000 mph would take 40,000 years to reach the closest star. A brilliant open star cluster M41 can be found directly below Sirius. It contains about fifty stars spread across 25 light-years. With binoculars, Sirius is also in the field of view. This star cluster is 2,100 light-years away.
Prominent constellations are Taurus (The Bull), Orion (The Hunter), Canis Major (The Large dog), Gemini (The Twins), and Auriga (The Charioteer).
Volunteers will set up a variety of kinds and sizes of telescopes on the winding sidewalks, and guests are welcome to use them or may bring their own binoculars and scopes as well.
The presentation is very casual, so come at any time and leave when you wish. Bring a red flashlight to preserve night vision. Dress for unpredictable desert weather and bring snacks, water bottles, and chairs.
Please be aware that white headlights severely disturb viewing and use only parking lights as you approach the dome. Let your eyes adjust to the dark before you drive into the parking area.
There are no overnight stays and NO CAMPING anywhere on the Observatory and Nature Center property. No pets, no smoking or alcohol allowed, and visitors must carry out all trash. Adults must accompany and take responsibility for the safety and behavior of children under 16.
The seasonal sky is very unpredictable, and a viewing event may have to be delayed, rescheduled, or cancelled due to cloudiness, rain, or excessive wind. Check @skysthelmit29 or follow @STL29Palms to learn the latest status of an event or call Ray at 760-365-7897.
For more information and to see photos taken through STL’s 14” Celestron Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope, visit the STL web site at www.skysthelimit29.org. STL is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Donations to support Sky’s The Limit’s educational programs are gratefully accepted.
Event location:Sky’s the Limit Observatory & Nature Center is at 9697 Utah Trail in Twentynine Palms, just outside the main (north) entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.
Event contact: FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT RAY YEAGER (760) 365-7897