Blog of Los Arboles Hotel and El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana in Palm Springs.
The upper poolside deck at Los Arboles is going to be transformed into a night sky viewing area on Saturday, March 24, 2012 when we run our first stargazing event of the season. Palm Springs may not have the darkest skies of any desert community and the giant, 10,800 foot high slab of granite known as Mount San Jacinto might block the western skies just a little … but our expert night sky guides Joe McMenamin (PhD, Stanford) and wife Laurie are confident that their powerful computer driven telescope will be able to get a nice view of lots of interesting celestial bodies.
We will probably kick off the viewing around 7:00PM or so with a very close up look at the moon, Venus and Jupiter. Later in the evening Mars and the Orion Nebula will be our targets. And although bright flashlights are never welcome at a night sky event (bad for night vision) … questions and cocktails are both encouraged!
To whet your appetite a bit for the evening … here is what the Wikipedia wizards have to say about maybe the most interesting night sky object we will view on Saturday the 24th. “The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42 or M42) is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 light years from earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. It has a mass of about 2000 times the mass of the Sun.”
Science can be fun boys and girls. Especially with a cold beer or a frosty Margarita in hand!