A confluence of near clouds and and long commutes will keep us from
setting up our telescopes in Old Town Pasadena tonight, but we'll be
out in full force at Myrtle and Lime in Monrovia tomorrow night,
Saturday the 7th.
Then Sunday we go boing and "spring forward" losing an hour of early
evening darkness. Daylight Savings Time, or darkness squandering
time, as we astronomers call it, starts Sunday. The start times of
all our events will spring forward too.
Coming up are a lot of International Year of Astronomy events, a few
weeknight school star parties, and even an excursion or two to the
March 22: Super Science Sunday in Woodland Hills (I am one of the
many speakers) http://www.discoverycntr.org/pages/events/sss.htm
Two more school star parties - March 24 /Monrovia, and March
31/Hacienda Heights. If you are local and have a telescope we could
maybe use some help.
March 28: Possible (weather permitting) dark sky observing night near
Chiriaco Summitt - I-10 between Indio and Desert Center. If a 150
mile one way drive, ending on a rutted dirt road with absolutely no
facilities intrigues you, RSVP to Jane or Mojo. There are some
courtesy rules about lights - no white lights, and just let everyone
know if you need to drive away, so we just close our eyes for the
duration, and RV's and heavy trucks will get stuck in the sand and
Triple A will have to be called. There is always room for a couple
March 28th - A more civilized and comfortable location for your first
dark sky observing night (with paved parking and toilets, and nearby
camping) is the Joshua Tree Star Party at Hidden Valley Picnic Area
on the same night. It's a much shorter drive! We're members of the
Yucca Valley "Andromeda Society", and occasionally some of us go to
this nice spot. But this is an excellent way to try out a dark sky
star party and meet (in the dark) some telescopes and celestial
sights, and lots of darn nice astronomers. Bring your own binoculars
or telescopes. It is a public star party so there are upwards of 100
park visitors walking around looking through the telescopes.
April 3 and 4: International Sidewalk Astronomy weekend and also the
big International Year of Astronomy "100 Hours of Astronomy" event.
If you want to do something special and you have your own telescope,
here's where to register: http://100hoursofastronomy.org/
than joining us, or in addition to joining us on one of our nights,
why not set up a telescope in your own neighborhood, and register
your event on the 100 Hours of Astronomy website!
April 5 is IYA Sun Day - I suppose we might do something solar if we
have any "solar" energy left. :-)
April 25th - Joining forces with the Southwest Herpetologists
Society, we're holding the first (annual?) Herping Star Party April
25th at Hole in the Wall Group Campsite in Mohave National Preserve.
Group campsites will be "first come first served" Day time herping
(for desert tortoises, chuckwallas, snakes and more) and night time
star gazing. So far there are about 5 tents-worth of our group
going, and I hear there are about 10 Herpetologists. :-)
All the other weekends in March and April are travel weekends for
Jane and Mojo - lots of family visits for us in the eastern and
pacific time zones.
May 2 and 3 are JPL Open House
and May 1 and 2 will be
our May sidewalk astronomy events. That will be one busy weekend for
your sidewalk correspondent!
Jane Houston Jones
Senior Outreach Specialist, Cassini Program
JPL - 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 230-205
Pasadena, CA 91109 818-393-6435
Cassini SOC http://soc.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm
What's Up? http://education.jpl.nasa.gov/amateurastronomy/index.html