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METEOR SHOWERS in JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

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  • Campgrounds in Joshua Tree - Sleep under the stars and enjoy some of the darkest night skies in Southern California.  With nine different campgrounds offering about 500 developed campsites, Joshua Tree offers options for individual travelers, families, and large groups. 

    Most campgrounds in Joshua Tree are first-come, first-served, throughout the year. Reservations are available for Black Rock and Indian Cove campgrounds during the busy season from October through May.  Book a site online at www.recreation.gov or by calling[masked] up to six months in advance of your visit.

     https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

    https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/ - What is a Meteor Shower?  Find out everything you need to know about meteor showers, including the yearly dates of important meteor showers, and when and where to view them from.

    http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/earthskys-meteor-shower-guide

    December 13-14, 2016 Geminids

    A word about moonlight

    Most important: a dark sky

    Know your dates and times

    Where to go to watch a meteor shower

    What to bring with you

    Are the predictions reliable?

    Remember …

    FLAMING METEORS FALLING FROM THE SKY:

    Mysterious rock formations. The darkest skies in Southern California.  The Taurids Meteor Shower is in early November and the peak night just happens to fall on a weekend this year.  Because there's no moon to interfere, the skies will be crazy dark.  We're talking BLACK SKY dark.  With thousands of stars popping.  Yes, sometimes things just come together perfectly...and this is one of those times.  

    A group of us are going for a weekend of meteor watching, hiking, camping, constellations gazing and campfire hanging out -- all under the shadow of way cool rocks, eerie Joshua Trees and shooting stars! 

    HIKING:  

    I suggest doing some hiking in the daytime, getting to know this beautiful place.  You can visit a Desert Oasis, Skull Rock, Arch Rock and more.  Maybe you'll run into some bighorn sheep.  It's nice to mix it up with a longer hike on one day and a series of shorter hikes on the other.  Also, a NIGHT HIKE through the desert (we did one with Joel, the Naturalist!) sounds wonderful, maybe a short hike near the campground; navigate by the light of the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy.  It just seems like a very Joshua Tree thing to do.  It helps to be in good shape with some hiking experience.

    HANGING OUT + METEORS:  

    When night falls, we'll do whatever we want around a campfire and when it gets darker we can lay back, gaze at the thousands of stars and wait for the meteors to emerge, blazing out of the night sky.

    THE SOUTH TAURIDS METEOR SHOWER:  

    Black skies matter!  This year,  the waxing Crescent Moon will set in the evening early, providing dark skies for the South Taurid meteor shower.  With many meteor showers, the peak time is right before dawn -- which is a real pain. The South Taurids will start getting good as soon as the moon disappears around 9:00 PM and it should produce the greatest number of meteors shortly AFTER MIDNIGHT on November 5.  All this against the canvas of the crazy dark BLACK SKIES that are necessary for good meteor viewing and for which Joshua Tree is famous for.  The Taurids usually do not produce the greatest number of meteors, but the meteors that do appear are much more likely to be the dramatic flaming fireball kind and they move slower so they last longer.  These are the meteors that you remember.

    CAR CAMPING:

    It's the best because we don't have to carry all our stuff in our backpack, it is more my style.  Make sure to bring enough water, snacks, and food for the time you will be there; also a hat, First Aid Kit, sunscreen, hiking shoes, basic gear for car camping -- sleeping bag, camping pad, flashlight / headlamp, the right clothes (layering) and hiking shoes, etc.  If you don't have a tent, you can always borrow or buy one through AMAZON.  If enough people are going, everyone could bring their favorite food to share, maybe something simple like grilled hot dogs or something a little less simple.  Bring your own paper goods, napkins, toilet paper, drinking cups, plates and utensils.  The campsite will have a grill and a fire-pit for sitting around.

    INFORMATION:

    It takes a couple of hours to get to Joshua Tree and it is posted early enough to make sure you get a good campsite!!   Carpooling is encouraged, the campsites has limited parking.  There is a $20 Park Entrance fee unless you have the Yearly Pass, then it's FREE!  The weather is usually perfect this time of year.  It will be around 70 degrees, hardly ever rains.  Sorry, no dogs are allowed!

    If you choose to sign up for this or any Serendipitous Adventures and More Meetup events, you are releasing this Meetup Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience. 



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