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!

Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater

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





For our next Star Party Event, To Be Announced
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


* * * * * *
What's Happening

 The Globe at Night campaign of
  Next Event September 15 - 24

For more info go to
Globe at Night


Contact us at:

Scroll down to see
What's Up!
in our night skies




Check out the 
Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater
Meetup site
for further & future details
Upcoming Events

Check out Dave Fuller's weekly sky reports,
Along with his very informative website.

This Week
Eyes on the Sky for August 25th thru August 31st, 2014
Find and observe Neptune even with simple binoculars this week as it reaches opposition. At a just-past naked eye magnitude of 7.6, it is easily spotted with binoculars, though many may wish to use a small telescope to track down the furthest-planet. Also, the return of "Along the Ecliptic" shows what's happening with Mars, Saturn and the Moon next Sunday, and where to see Jupiter and Venus in the morning sky.

Enjoy the Night Sky and remember . . . . .
Take some time to peak at the night sky,
 Look Up To See What's Up!


August Skies

Visible Planets for August.
We have 5 visible planets this month.  Mars and Saturn pop into view as soon as darkness falls throughout August.  Mercury, the innermost planet, transitions into the evening sky on August 8.  Venus and Jupiter, the sky’s brightest and second-brightest planets.


August 1st-3rd

As the days start getting shorter and the nights longer, The Milky Way is the "star" of the night skies at the
beginning of the month and at the end of the  month due to very little to no moonlight. 

On the 2nd, Minor auroras might be visible across the northern U.S. and southern Canada tonight, the result
of a coronal mass ejection from an erupting filament on July 30th  Also on the 2nd, the waxing crescent moon
will pass just north of the planet Mars and will be visible the western sky just after sunset.

On the 3rd at 5:50 p.m. PDT is the First Quarter Moon.  The First Quarter Moon rises around 10:30 a.m. and sets around 09:15 p.m. PDT.  Making room for the Milky Way to pop overhead.


                                               photo credit: starry night software

Aug. 10th, 2:09 p.m. EDT Full  "Super Moon"

This is the closest and largest full Moon of the year, an annual event that has come to be known as a "Super Moon" by the media. The truth is that it is only slightly larger and brighter than normal and most people are not really able to tell the difference.   

This Augusts Full Moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Sturgeon Moon because the large sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes and other major lakes were more easily caught at this time of year. This Full Moon known as the Corn Moon,  Green Corn Moon, Red Moon, or Grain Moon.

It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky. Tonight the moon is very close, known as perigee, (the point where an object traveling around the Earth is closest)  only 221,765 miles  from Earth, resulting in high tides.

Aug. 12th/13th The Perseid meteors peak

Produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24.


It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. Best time for viewing is 01:00am 'til dawn.  Sadly, the bright moon will interfere with the Perseid meteor shower.  But you may get some good views in earlier at the beginning and the end of the month.

August 18th - 20th

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is always a highlight in the evening.  And for you early birds, on the 18th Jupiter and Venus will rise together around 5 a.m., they will be only 15 arc minutes apart, ( A unit of angular measure equal to 60 arc seconds, or 1/60 of a degree.) making them able to fit into the lens view of a telescope.  Another highlight of that morning thru the 20th is, if you happen to have a very low clear view of the eastern horizon is Venus and the Beehive.  Venus passes just south of the Beehive Star Cluster in Cancer.


Aug. 25, New Moon

The moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the East as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the West an evening or two after New Moon.  Perfect time for some serious star gazing.

Aug. 31st

In the early evening Saturn will be just to the right of the crescent moon in North America. But if you  happen to be observing in West Africa will see the moon pass in front of Saturn


Clear Sky Chart for The Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater  



Moon Phases for August 2014

august moon September moon October moon November moon December moon January moon February moon march moon April moon may moon June moon July moon


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Note: Donations are non tax deductible

Last updated August 24, 2014