Mojave star party cancelled due to rain, What's Up otherwise

Jane Houston Jones jane at
Thu May 5 23:32:04 PDT 2016

Sadly, our Mojave National Star Party this weekend has to be cancelled.  
The weather prospects are this: our site appears to be right on the the 
southern edge of most of well known cloud and rain activity -- 20% 
chance of  thunderstorms Saturday night. This chance of desert shower 
cells may creep up on us in the Mojave desert and we would not have the 
time to get all of our telescopes out of the rain. And tents would get 
it too. For those of us leaving our telescopes out and using our vehicle 
as a camper....well, not good (for the telescopes). 60% here in Monrovia 
right now and it is raining pretty hard.  (10:30 p.m.) We have been 
studying the weather for 2 days and have sadly reached this decision 
with concurrence from the National Park.

Saturday night WX:  A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly 
cloudy, with a low around 45. West southwest wind around 9 mph. Chance 
of precipitation is 20%. Friday night, when we were planning on 
arriving: 50%  read it for yourselves, tho we look at many weather data.

We'll work on a rescheduled date...maybe sooner than the fall. And we 
welcome people to join our Amboy Crater nights - cars OK, no camping 
spots on the lava, bhut overnight in cars/vans in parking lot OK.

In other news, Monday is a transit of Mercury -- Mercury is passing 
across the sun as seen from Earth.  Happens 12 times each century. The 
time is from sunrise, when the sun rises Mercury is already crossing the 
face of the sun.  For us west-coasters, it will be visible from sunrise 
to 11:30 a.m. My video and blog here tell the story.

Steve Edberg, another JPL colleague and well known amateur astronomer, 
scientist and teacher and I put together this blog 

And my monthly podcast covers the transit (and Mars) this month:

I'll reach out personally to the people I know were planning on 
attending, and also to suggest some of our less-public dark sky events. 
You are all welcome to attend our not public events, mostly just a few 
telescopes, several doing astrophotography (aka no eyepiece view and no 
flashlights)  but there are usually at least one or two telescopes 
available for viewing.  Our site for these is Amboy crater, no 
campsites, a car park, toilets, and  agreat 1 mile one way am hike to 
the crater


Jane Houston Jones
What's Up May 2016 podcast:
Mercury transit, Mars closest approach

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