Sunday, January 3, 2016

January List of Events in the Coachella Valley

moon and San San Jacinto Mountains
The first month of 2016 will be an exciting start to a new year for astronomy enthusiasts. There is going to be plenty of celestial events, and interesting observations so keep your eyes on the night sky.

Unfortunately, El Nino is coming our way, and that means clouds and rain. Now this may sound great for obvious reasons, such as the drought, but it does not bode well for astronomy and astrophotography. Clouds make it generally very poor for stargazing.

First we have the annual Quadrantids Meteor Shower on January 3-4. You can catch the meteors starting after sundown on Sunday night, and watch them throughout the evening and into Monday morning. The best time for viewing is the actual peak, which starts at 3am and ends at the first light of the day. This particular meteor shower is above average, and NASA is estimating around 80 meteors per hour in areas with dark skies and little to no light pollution.

January 2-6 Spot the space station! Early morning hours seem to be the sweet spot for viewing the ISS in the Coachella Valley. Head on over to Spot the Station via NASA here to see dates/times and other information related to local sightings.

January 9th @ 7:00pm Star Party hosted by the Sun City Palm Desert Astronomy Club, located at the east greenbelt off Donny Circle, just south of Alliance Way in Palm Desert. More info here.

January 10th we have the New Moon, which is a great time to view the galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and other types of deep sky objects. Without the interference of the Moons glow, faint objects in the sky can be more clearly seen.

January 16th 5pm-8pm Star Party hosted by the ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF THE DESERT, located at the visitors center. Directions and information can be found here.

January 24th is this months Full Moon,

January 27th @ 7:00pm is the monthly general meeting of the Sun City Palm Desert Astronomy Club. Located in the Tahoe Room at the Lakeview Clubhouse. This month, they will be talking about "Hubble and the Sagittarius Star Cloud". More info here.

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