02-02-2019 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center
Address: 9697 Utah Trail, 29 Palms, CA, United States

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 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.


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  • 06-12-2020 7:00 PM - 06-12-2020 8:00 PM

    “Grandfather Burton Frasher, Photographer, 1907 Through the Decades”

    Event Date: Friday, June 12, 2020
    Event Time: 7:00PM

    Event Description: Anyone who traveled in the Southwestern United States from the 1920’s through the 1950’s probably stopped at a café, souvenir stand, or gas station, and bought a postcard with a crisp black and white photo-view of the region, stamped with the famous “Frasher Foto” label.
    Burton Frasher Sr., who became known as “The Postcard King of The West” began capturing images of the west as a young boy growing up in Colorado. Frasher (pronounced “Frasier”) was born in 1888, in Denver, Colorado. After learning the boxmaking trade, he came to California around 1910 to work in the state’s booming fruit packing industry.  In spite of a need to travel light, Frasher carried his large format 5-by-7 view camera, and portable darkroom equipment in the sidecar of his Indian motorcycle that he used in his boxmaking travels.  Frasher’s Foto also did extensive work capturing the cultural history of the Southwest by photographing a wide array of Indian tribespeople in their native surroundings. Frasher preserved the Indian tourist culture of the day by photographing native dancers, as well as tribal artists creating jewelry, making pottery, and weaving baskets.

    The Frasher Foto brand is still going today, carried on by Christopher Frasher, the son of Burton Jr., and the 3rd generation of Frasher photographers. Christopher studied portraiture at the Brooks Institute of Photography, which he combined with years of hands-on training from his father and other mentors. Christopher operates “Frasher’s Foto” studios in Yucca Valley, and San Luis Obispo that specialize in portraiture, and family and sporting events.

    Sponsored by the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park and the Twentynine Palms Historical Society, this lecture is held at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, on Friday, June 12 at 7 pm.  This lecture is open to the public and costs $5 per person at the door. Optional dinner with speaker at 5 pm at the 29 Palms Inn, reservations are limited and attendees are responsible for their own meal.  If interested in dinner please RSVP at 760-367-5537 before Wednesday, June 10.

    Organizer Name: Desert Institute
    Organizer Phone Number: 760-367-5539
    Organizer Email:

    Venue Name: Old Schoolhouse Museum
    Venue Address: 6760 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms