Tuesday, January 28, 2014

StarGazing in the Desert

This Saturday, January 25th, 165 people joined the Imperial Valley Desert Museum for its sixth StarGazing in the Desert party.  It was Standing Room Only for IVDM treasurer Steve Benton's talk "Voyager Interstellar Mission: Journey of Discovery Continues", where he shared NASA's newest images from the Voyager Mission.  Then it was out to the telescopes where a beautifully clear sky let us see an amazing panorama of stars.  We saw the Pleiades and Orion's Nebula, but the big hit of the night was Jupiter, which was close enough for us to see its brown belts as well as its four largest moons: Io, Callisto, Europa, and Ganymede. Jupiter has a total of 67 identified moons.

Visitors enjoyed viewing our "40 Frames" exhibit with 40 photographs of Imperial Valley through the eyes of local and visiting photographers.  They also got the opportunity to see sketches of the permanent exhibit the Museum is building and talk with Director Dr. Neal Hitch and Head Curator Anne Morgan about the planned exhibit.  Kids enjoyed an arts and crafts project of button making and coloring, but the telescopes remained the biggest hit with all ages.  "I love stars!" one girl exclaimed.  "I need to get a big telescope like this" another said. "Stars are awesome."

Director Neal Hitch and Steve Benton viewing Jupiter

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hiking with Boyscouts

On Monday, Troop 4076, out of El Centro, visited the museum and took a hike through Shell Canyon to learn about the geology of the Imperial Valley. Our discussions centered around the types of rock created by volcanic activity, then we went to see them. The Boyscouts were thrilled by the towering walls of Shell Canyon, and were surpised by how much evidence there is of recent volcanic activity in the Imperial Valley. Many of the scouts had never hiked out into the desert, but Monday turned out to be a great day to earn a hiking badge.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

StarGazing in the Desert- This Coming Saturday!

What are you doing this Saturday? Like stars?  January 25 from 6-9pm come on out and join us for our sixth StarGazing in the Desert party.  At 6:30 our own Steve Benton will be showing us some of his astronomy photographs and give a brief talk on the Voyager Space Crafts and the beautiful moons and planets they have discovered.  Afterwards  look through the telescopes volunteers will be bringing out and enjoy the beauty of the dark skies here in Ocotillo.  Enjoy looking at our current "Forty Frames" exhibit and check out the drawings we have of our future permanent exhibit.  There's no better way to spend a Saturday night!