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

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