Evening Sky Watch: Sunday, May 20, 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. PDT.

 

Our viewing site is in Palm Springs, on the pedestrian bridge crossing over Tahquitz Creek, at Camino Real between North and South Riverside Drives. The bridge is three blocks north of Cahuilla Elementary School. Parking is available on Camino Real, both north and south of the bridge. Be on time for the start of this session, to catch Venus before it disappears below the San Jacinto Mountains nearby to our west.

 

During our evening sky watch on May 20: We値l begin with naked eye, binocular, and telescopic observations of three bright solar system bodies: Venus, a waxing crescent Moon, and Jupiter, all spanning an angle of 135ー in the zodiac. As the sky darkens, we値l see an arch of four bright holdover winter stars in the western sky topped by the Pollux and Castor, the Twins of Gemini. We値l use the Big Dipper to locate the bright stars Arcturus, Spica, and Regulus, the heart of Leo, and not-so-bright Polaris, the North Star. We値l learn how to tell time using the two brightest stars of the Little Dipper. (One of them is the North Star.) We値l enjoy telescopic views of Jupiter痴 four bright moons, Venus gibbous phase, lunar craters, double stars, and star clusters. By end of the session, we値l spot summer痴 first-arriving bright stars, blue-white Vega in northeast, and red supergiant Antares, heart of the Scorpion, in southeast.

 

For a free printable May Sky Calendar illustrating the month痴 gatherings of Moon, planets, and bright stars with an evening sky map, visit www.abramsplanetarium.org/skycalendar/

 

For an article describing sky events to enjoy with unaided eye on your own, visit www.cvindependent.com/ and select 鄭stronomy in the dropdown menu for 哲ews.

 

Star Parties

 

The website of the Astronomical Society of the Desert at www.astrorx.org has a listing of evening star parties at two locations. The primary, more accessible location is at the Visitor Center (VC) of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (on Hwy 74, within 4 miles south of Hwy 111 in Palm Desert). The Society痴 last sky viewing session for the season at that location is scheduled on Sat., May 19, from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. (Star parties at that location will resume on Oct. 13.)

 

Sawmill Trailhead (SMT), the Astronomical Society痴 high-altitude site (elev. 4000 feet wear warm clothes), will have a star party starting at dusk on Sat., May 12. (Star parties at that location will continue monthly.)

 

Listing of star parties on the Society痴 website includes maps and directions for both locations. Star parties can be cancelled in poor observing weather. Also, check link to 的mpromptu Star Parties on that website for star parties announced on short notice. Besides the sky watch on Sunday, May 20, there may be some others added in Palm Springs during May.

 

 

 

Stay tuned for new events.

 

 

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