Morning and evening sky watching at Tahquitz Creek pedestrian bridge
Led by Robert Victor, astronomy columnist for Coachella Valley Independent
Predawn Sky Watch: Sunday, May 6, 4:00 a.m.-5:00 a.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 dark skies at the start of this session; before the sky brightens, we may spot a few meteors originally from Halley’s Comet, view the Milky Way, and use telescope and binoculars to view a sampling of star clusters.
During the predawn sky watch on May 6: We’ll preview stars in the same places you’ll find them during evenings in late August, including the Summer Triangle of Vega, Altair, and Deneb nearly overhead; Scorpius and its red supergiant star Antares in SSW; and golden Arcturus in west. We’ll also observe all three bright outer planets, including telescopic views of Jupiter and its four satellites discovered by Galileo; Saturn with its wonderful rings; Mars with its extensive late winter south polar cap; and a waning gibbous Moon appearing close by Mars that morning. All three planets will be prominent in the evening sky in August, in addition to Venus.
For a free printable May Sky Calendar illustrating the month’s gatherings of Moon, planets, and bright stars with an evening sky map, visit www.abramsplanetarium.org/skycalendar/
For a list of sky events to enjoy with unaided eye on your own, visit www.cvindependent.com/ and select “Astronomy” in the dropdown menu for “News.”
Visit website of Astronomical Society of the Desert www.astrorx.org for listings of star parties.