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




What's Up?

This is a late night Bring and share libation snacks and fun MoonGaze evening!
Mello party with a fire barrel, a little cheer and some neighborhood friends. Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers with Blood Orange Juice, or some Blood Red Wine....
 Mars will be in Virgo with Spica and the Eclipse will take place just after midnight. 

Don't worry about driving home
Bring your RV, Tent or stay overnight in your car.
Make your camping reservations now at    

If you did not make it to our
March 29th event,
Messier Star Party

Click on

Facebook Page

 The first Globe at Night campaign of
  Next Event April 20 - 29

For more info go to
Globe at Night


Contact us at:



Check out our
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 April14th - April 20th 2014.

Full Lunar Eclipse and double stars

Take some time to peak at the night sky to see What's Up!

April Skies

March came in like a lion and left like a lion.  With a X1 grade solar flare. That cause brief moments of radio blackouts and will most likely create some beautiful evening auroras for the beginning of April. 

For More information on the suns activity, check out these sites. 

SOHO Solar Observatory 

April 1st

Kicks off Global Astronomy Month (GAM).
Your gateway to a month-long celebration of the cosmos, organized each April by Astronomers Without Borders, is the world's largest global celebration of astronomy. 

Global Astronomy Month,  2014 will bring new ideas & new opportunities, again bringing enthusiasts together worldwide to celebrate Astronomers Without Borders' motto One People, One Sky.

For more information on events through the month of April

April 8th - Mars in Opposition

Once every 26 months, the Sun, Earth, and Mars form an almost-perfectly straight line and the planets will be in opposition. This event will happen next on April 8 and the Red Planet will appear 10 times brighter than the brightest stars in the sky. Even if you live in an urban area and typically don’t do any stargazing because of light pollution, you should be able to see Mars fairly easily.

What’s even cooler is that on April 15—the same night as the total lunar eclipse—Mars will make its closest approach with Earth. At this point, the two planets will be a (relatively) mere 92 million kilometers (57.2 million miles) away. That night is definitely one to head to an open field with your binoculars or telescope and take in the sights. Even though Mars will be visible to the unaided eye, the polar caps and other Martian features will be easy to spot with some assistance.


The reason the doesn’t happen at opposition because planetary orbits are elliptical, not circular. Though the orbits are going in the same direction, Earth is traveling around the sun at a faster rate and is essentially lapping Mars once every 26 months. This doesn’t always happen in the same location, which is why opposition and closest approach are typically two separate events. On August 27, 2003 the closest approach of Mars was the nearest it had been in almost 60,000 years, coming within 55.8 million kilometers (34.7 million miles) of Earth.

April 14th / 15th

With the full moon occurring at 12:45 am here in Joshua Tree, the timing doesn't get any better for the Total Eclipse of the Moon.

This lunar eclipse is almost fully visible from North America. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 12:52 am EDT on April 15th (9:52 pm PDT on April 14th) and will leave the penumbra at 6:39 am EDT (3:39 am PDT) on April 15th. Totality will last from 3:07 a.m. until 4:25 a.m. EDT  (12:07am PDT  -  2:25am PDT).

This full Moon known as the Pink Full Moon to the Native Americans, due to  the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon and in Europe it is known as the Rose Moon.

International Dark Sky Week April 20-26, 2014

HERE for more information how you can participate

April 22nd (Earthday)

Lyrid Meteor shower The shower runs annually from April 16-25. Averaging about 10 per hour originating from the southern sky in the pre dawn hours.
The Lyrids is an average shower, producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861.  It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The second quarter moon will be a slight problem this year, blocking the less bright meteors from view. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight better in the pre dawn hours. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky.



Clear Sky Chart for The Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater  



Moon Phases for April 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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to see pictures  of what we've been up to.


Thank you for your support

Note: Donations are non tax deductible



Last updated April 14, 2014