Hi everyone, we are really looking forward to our weekend dark sky
getaway on the 14th. Weather permitting, we'll be sure to see Taurids
and Leonids and more, oh my! Mojo mentioned it to you all a few weeks
ago. To repeat part of his invite:
"We travel about 160 miles from home in Monrovia out I-10 to a spot on
BLM land south of Joshua Tree. Most of us make a night of it, catching a
couple hours sleep as we can, and enjoy breakfast the next morning at
Chiriaco Summit. Some will leave around midnight to make the trek back."
With the time change it gets dark early now, so that means you'd need to
arrive before 5:30 p.m., It is dark in the desert, and you travel on a 2
mile dirt road, and you need light to park on soft sand with many pokey
bushes and cacti. This site is unfortunately not suitable for large
trucks or RV's.
Let us know if you'd like to join us, and we'll send the map. Plan to
bring plenty of water, a comfortable chair and layers of clothing for
(possibly chilly) meteor observing after midnight to dawn. I'm toying
with a Leonid morning trek (that would be Monday night the 16th until
dawn on Tuesday the 17th) depending on the weather. Maybe Warner
Springs, maybe all the way to our observing site. I get all sentimental
about the Leonids as Mojo and I have been observing them as part of the
NASA Airborne Meteor missions for many years. The bonus view will be
Saturn in Leo - been a while since we've had a good look at the real
Lord of the Rings. :-)
Now, on to business!
My What's Up November podcast is all about the Crab Nebula in Taurus and
the Leonids get a brief mention at the end.
It is also on the JPL front page and lots of other places I mention
Blogging about the Leonids: I've been taking a trip down memory lane
this week. You can read my story about flying through the 1999 Leonid
Storm, and also an interesting (at least to me) article about the first
airborne mission one hundred years earlier. It is the story of a woman
astronomer (Dorothea Klumpke) observing the Leonids in a balloon!
Here's looking up! Jane
Jane Houston Jones
Old Town Astronomers: http://www.otastro.org
My NASA JPL What's Up podcast: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/whatsup.cfm
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jhjones http://twitter.com/CassiniSaturn