Start Star gazing in Borrego Springs,
April 06, 2021
Start Star Gazing in Borrego Springs, California
With International Dark Sky Community Week April 5th-12th “the night sky, filled with stars, is celebrated and protected around the world as a shared heritage benefiting all living things.” Borrego Springs is a certified Dark Sky Community and the only one in California. A Dark Sky Community focuses on preserving the night sky. In many places, light pollution makes it hard to see many distant stars, Borrego Springs is protected from urban lights allowing for optimal astronomy activities.
When you stop by Borrego Springs you can learn more about the stars as well as see them clearly for yourself, no telescope necessary! Before you go scope out the stars, here are a few fun facts to keep in mind. Every star you can see with the naked eye is bigger and brighter than the sun. Space is silent. Since there is no atmosphere in space, sound has no way to travel for someone to hear. Stars don’t actually twinkle. As the light passes through many layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, it bounces around like a pinball machine, and creates the twinkling effect. On a clear night, you can see about 20 quadrillion miles. That is 20,000,000,000,000,000 miles. In those 20 quadrillion miles, there are 88 constellations in the sky right we can spot. And there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on the earth. However, you don’t need to be a star expert to enjoy the night sky. Here are a few easy constellations and stars to spot on your next trip!
Big Dipper & Ursa Major. While the Big Dipper is not technically a constellation, it is part of Ursa Major known as the Great Bear. To find the big dipper, locate three stars in a line. These are part of the handle that connects to the Big Dipper. It is visible all year round and it looks like a ladle. The Big Dipper is the tail end of the Great Bear.
Orion the Hunter. This is one of the most famous constellations. One of the easiest tricks is to spot the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. Orion’s belt, three stars close together, point to that bright star. Orion is a hourglass shape constellation with the belt in the middle. He looks like a hunter with a bow and arrow.
Leo the lion. To spot Leo start with the Big Dipper. The bottom right star of the cup part of the Big Dipper points to the Leo constellation. You can easily spot it by looking for the backwards question mark. This pattern is called the Sickle in Leo. The triangle to the left of the Sickle is the hind quarters and tail of the lion.
In addition, keep an eye out for these best times to view parts of the universe in 2021!
The Orion Nebula December-February
The Beehive Cluster February-May
The Milky Way’s core April-September
The Summer Triangle July-August
The Andromeda Galaxy September-October
The Winter Hexagon December-February
Call Borrego Valley Inn or Palm Canyon Resort for last minute booking options. And please stop by the Palm Canyon RV Resort & Hotel Gift Shop to pick up your own star map to help you find more of these constellations in our Dark Sky Community!
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