Southern California Desert Video Astronomers

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Our Mission.............................
To educate & promote astronomy in order to preserve the dark skies of the California Desert and everywhere for future generations.

SCDVA, moving the line for dark skies




Let's explore our wonderful Universe together!

What's Happening

Berners Potluck!

Hosted by Bernie Sanders Morongo Basin Ca. Group.
Come to Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater at Joshua Tree Lake Campground and meet fellow Berners! Bring a dish or a pizza, or drink----we welcome all. And by the way, Bernie has received a personal invite for this event. Just sayin'. Should he come we even have an amphitheater and a mic!
Where: JT Campground
When: FRIDAY, MAY 27
Time:5:00 pm
Who should come: Literally everyone you know who has a soft spot in their heart for Bernie.

Admission $1.00 per person being charged for the Campground
Sorry, No Dogs Allowed inside the Theater.
Please Drive Slow to Keep Dust Low

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May Skies

Planets in May
Looking to the South East just after sunset Jupiter is the bright gem in the sky this evening.


Saturn and Mars can be seen rising near the heart of the Scorpion, Antares after about 10:00pm in the Southeast and are visible until dawn.

Looking to the East just before the sun breaks over the horizon, and to the left of the constellation Pisces, Venus, the morning star can be seen as she slowly is lost behind the sun as the month goes on.


                                                    Facing East just before sunrise

Also just before dawn, the two zodiac signs associated with the month of May are Taurus and Gemini. Individuals born from May 1st to May 20th are members of the Taurus sign which lies just above the horizon.  The red star Aldebaran is the eye of the bull.  
Further up from Taurus. For those born from May 21st to May 31st,  are members of the Gemini sign.  You can see the Gemini twins with the 2 stars Castor and Pollux as their heads.   


MAY 2nd

On a dark night, two popular galaxies are detectable with good binoculars off the handle of the Big Dipper, M51 The Spiral Galaxy, about 37 million light years away and M101, The Pinwheel Galaxy  whose relatively close distance of about 27 million light years allows it to be studied in some detail. 


                                                Photo M51 courtesy of NASA

                                            Photo M101 courtesy of NASA

MAY 5th The  Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

According to EarthSky "The forecast calls for the greatest number of Eta Aquarid meteors to light up the predawn darkness over the next few mornings, before dawn on May 5 and 6. Best of all, the May 6 new moon will guarantee deliciously dark skies for this year’s Eta Aquarids. It is difficult to say with certainty which morning will be the better of the two  May 5 or 6 –since this shower has a relatively broad peak. But we give the nod to before dawn May 6. Just remember the dark hour before dawn begins to light the sky typically presents the greatest number of Eta Aquarid meteors. "


MAY 7th
Two Moon Shadows Cross Jupiter.

Jupiter's being followed by a 
At 09:39 p.m – 
11:42 p.m. PDT. The shadows of Jupiter's moons, Io and Callisto cross the face of this giant simultaneously. 
MAY 9th Transit of Mercury Across the Sun

This is a rare event and only happens 13 times a century.  You 
will have to wait until 2019 for the next one.
According to, "Mercury's transit can be broken into five stages. These stages will occur at slightly different times based on the observer's location on Earth, but the times should not vary by more than 2 minutes, according to an article from the Observers Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
The first stage, called contact I, begins precisely at 1112:19 GMT (7:12:19 a.m. EDT), when the edge of the planet's disc kisses the sun's edge in the sky. Soon after, the planet will appear to make a small notch in the sun. The notch will grow larger until contact II occurs at 1115:31 GMT (7:15:31 a.m. EDT), when the entire disc lies within the sun while both outer edges touch. Over the
course of several hours, the planet will cross the sun, reaching the star's center at 1457:26 GMT (10:57:26 a.m. EDT). At contact IV (1839:14 GMT/2:39:14 p.m. EDT), the outer edge of the planet's disc will touch the outer edge of the sun, and by contact V (1842:26 GMT/2:42:26 p.m. EDT), the planet will have completed its cross of the sun, and its inner edge will have just touched the star's outer edge."



MAY 21st
 Full Flower Moon 

May In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.

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Clear Sky Chart for The Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater  



Moon Phases for May 2016

January moon, February moon, March moon, April moon, May moon, June moon, July moon, August moon, September moon, October moon, November moon, December Moon

The World's First & Only Live Astronomy Theater.

SCDVA, Official IDA Chapter Serving The High Desert Region
San Bernardino County


IDA International Dark Sky Association

"Ask not what dark skies can do for you, rather,
Ask what you can do for dark skies."

                                                                                Inspired by a quote from JFK



Book Your 2015 Events Now Under the Beautiful Joshua Tree Night Skies


For our next Star Party or Event
Why Not Make it an All Nighter Under the Starry Nights of the Joshua Tree Desert Skies.

 Make your camping reservations early
At the Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground




Contact us at:



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Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater

Check out the  
Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater


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for further & future details
Upcoming Events



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to see pictures  of what we've been up to.


Please Help Support our efforts. To contribute, click the link below.

Or mail your Contributions to

P.O. Box 2192
Joshua Tree Ca. 92252

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Note:  non tax deductible

Last updated May 25, 2016