Well, no chance of sidewalk astronomy in Monrovia tonight. Bu behind those clouds are some gorgeous views of the planets Saturn, Mrs and Jupiter.

Learn what's up this month in my monthly podcast https://youtu.be/M7RtIa9zBYA, transcript here (and feel free to share!) http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/details.php?id=1427

Tonight's weather isn't this "reverse clearing" but still, this is a very interesting chance in our May Grey/June Gloom weather - clearing at the coast, high fog lingering up against the mountains. http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/05/18/60754/la-s-may-grey-unusual-this-year-thanks-to-reverse/

And just as a reminder, our free dark sky star party in the Mojave National Preserve is June 25th - just two weeks away. Weather permitting, the Milky Way will be glorious!

A few links and info  I have sent our to several of you who plan to attend:

Our star party is held at the Black Canyon Group Campground (close to the Hole-In-The-Wall visitor center and campground) in the middle of Mojave National Preserve. about 170 miles from Monrovia.

A RSVP is required, but there is no charge for the event -- the RSVP is for # of tents/cars. There is a facebook group and you can RSVP there https://www.facebook.com/events/695749230564590/, or you can call or email our wonderful coordinator from the Mojave National Preserve Conservancy David Lanfrom dlanfrom@ncpa.org or  760-219-4916 -  he is the best person to answer more questions.

The directions are here -- the last quarter mile is not paved: https://www.nps.gov/moja/planyourvisit/directions.htm

Directions to Hole-in-the-Wall
From I-40:/ Exit Essex Road and drive north 10 miles to the junction with Black Canyon Road. Hole-in-the-Wall is 10 miles north on Black Canyon Road.

And here is a zoomed in version of the area centered on the Black Canyon Campground -- https://www.google.com/maps/@35.04204,-115.3879753,2413m/data=!3m1!1e3

It is a very large group campsite, with plenty of parking.

Arrive before sunset (which is at 8:08 p.m.), and there will be a potluck beginning at about 6 p.m., with rangers from the National Park Service, members of the Mojave National Preserve Conservancy and the sidewalk astronomers and all our guests all sharing the potluck, and a few saying a few words to the group.  There is a large firepit, covered pavilion with 8 picnic tables, trash/recycling critter-proof cans, a pump with water for washing dishes, and pit toilets, which you can see if you zoom in close on the google map. You can also see the circular parking area and the large sandy/brushy area for tents. So bring a tent, sleeping bag (or car camp), pot luck or bring something to eat for dinner, there is room for camp stoves on the picnic tables if you want to cook. The Conservancy provides lots of drinks, chips, some food, there is always vegetarian food, but you can bring your own.  A local family often makes tamales (both meat and vegetarian), and/or soup or stew, again veg/meat.

  All the guests come up and spend time at the telescope, white flashlights are not appreciated at the telescopes, we suggest not using the flashlight at all at telescopes. As your eyes adapt you can see very nicely without lights.  But our star party is very informal, and we just ask people to cover flashlights with your hand, and turn them off at the telescopes, no cell phones or iPads or other light emitting devices up at the telescopes preferred.  Most people spend time at the tables eating or snacking, or talking and storytelling at the big fire pit, Dogs are permitted and there are usually several -- some on leashes and some not, all very nice dogs. Kids are welcome.

Jane Houston Jones
What's Up June 2016: 
Saturn opposition, planets and a comet!