California Amateur Astronomy

List of California Astronomy Clubs & Groups

Mount Pinos Lot

Southern California


Star Gazer


Central & Northern California


Benchmark Map for California

California Eclipse

Moon Eclipse

The Blood Moon

Solar Eclipses & Lunar Eclipses

Eclipse schedule for 2014, as seen from California

This year 2014, we are in a for a real visual treat – 2 solar eclipses and 2 lunar eclipses. Make plans for your nights spent out of doors under the stars, camping out and sky watching the celestial events and meteor showers.

Or at the very least, turn off the boob-tube and park your lawn chair out in the backyard for a few hours. Comfortable: Hat, blanket, radio. Hot cocoa and sugary treats will help keep you awake and alert. Don’t forget the camera and tripod, just in case you real bored.

Apr 15: Total Lunar Eclipse
Apr 29: Annular Solar Eclipse
Oct 08: Total Lunar Eclipse
Oct 23: Partial Solar Eclipse


 The California Deserts are sometimes the best place to watch the nights sky, unless the winds are kicking up. Deserts are warmer than other locations and if you position yourself well you can be far from any city lights.

The California Foothills, both coastal foothills or mountain foothills – are the second best choice, if you can drive up canyons and get well away from the sprawling suburbs. Choice spots would be ridges above 2000′ elevation, with minimal trees. Oak foothills are choice spots. Higher than 4000′ and you will be chillin overnight.

The California Mountains are the prime choice for summertime recreation of all kinds. Primitive camping on the back roads will save you fees at a developed campground. The higher in altitude, the less atmosphere above you – the better night sky viewing is above. Choose a meadow or mountain ridge w/ minimal trees. Burn areas provide wide open spots, so you can seek old wildfire ridges. Nights can get pretty chilly most all year long, so go well prepared. Jackets, gloves, hata and all. Keep all campfires to a bare minimum after 9pm, so you can focus on the stars in the sky.

your pupils will welcome the darkest of skies

The California Coast is often covered with a thick layer of clouds and moisture, so star gazing along the ocean front is not always great. Central Coast and NorCal beaches have less less population, so these would be the ideal locations. Choose an inland valley w/ rolling oak hills and dirt roads, over the busy beaches. There might be clear days and nights, especially if forecast call for heat – check the local weather forecast for accurate up to date conditions.

Large urban areas, the cities and towns of California are the worst place you can sky watch, due to light pollution, traffic and smog. Drive to the outskirts of town – pick a dark location, a park, open space or forest lands nearby. Arrive before dark to get the best spots, well off the main road. Choose viewing spots without street lights and without passing traffic. Find a nice level spot to set chairs up and bring lots of snacks.
Weather Underground seems to be pretty accurate for many rural regions of California.

Stargazing California

How to watch a meteor shower

Follow videos fromYoutube
on YouTube


Check out NASA for all the details

CA Holiday

California Holiday Calendar

annual calendar holidays & night skies for 2014

Carson Peak June Lake Loop

This list below is published by Total Escape, so you can easily plan your weekends away and your outdoor vacations, your fishing trips, your stargazing nights, your valuable three day weekends. ” Hey DanaMite, when is the next meteor shower?” Now you know!

holidays 2014




  • Saturday, March 1  (new moon)
  • Sunday, March 16  (full moon)
  • Monday, March 17   Saint Patrick’s Day
  • Thursday, March 20  Vernal Equinox (Spring)
  • March Festivals California
  • Sunday, March 30 (new moon)




  • Friday, June 13 (full moon)
  • Sunday, June 15  Fathers Day
  • Saturday, June 21 Summer Solstice
  • Friday, June 27 (new moon)
  • June Festivals California




  • Monday, September 1     Labor Day
  • Monday, September 8    (full moon)
  • Tuesday, September 23  Autumnal Equinox (Fall)
  • Wednesday, September 24  (new moon)
  • September Festivals California




  • Geminid Meteor Shower
  • Saturday, December 6 (full moon)
  • Sunday, December 21    Winter Solstice (new moon)
  • December Festivals California
  • Wednesday, December 24          Christmas Eve
  • Thursday, December 25     Christmas Day
  • Wednesday, December 31     New Years Eve

Comet ISON

Comet ISON Appears Intact

C/2012 S1

November is the month that meteor showers often ramp up for winter months, so stargazing is usually great during Autumn months. Expect to see more than your average star shows this year, around the new year and into late January as comet Ison travels around our Sun and past Earth.

Starting around Nov. 15th you will be able to see this anticipated comet with the naked eye. Astronomers, including those at NASA, say Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) has a chance to be one of the brightest comets in history after it reaches perihelion on November 28, 2013.

Helpful links to find out much more on Comet ISON.

Star Camping
Comets of 2013
Comets of 2014

The darkest skies are way out on the back roads of California.

The darkest skies are way out on the back roads.

Palomar Observatory

The Geminids Meteor Shower

palomar cabin

Geminid Meteor Shower

One of the better winter star shows. This well known meteor shower peaks in mid December, right in the middle of Christmas Rush. It’s a nice time to plan a desert camping trip around or a weekend away in the mountains. Look in the southern part of the nights sky these shootings stars.

The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December and usually peak around the 13th – 14th of the month, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of the 14th. The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time.

The meteors in this shower appear to come from a radiant in the constellation Gemini (hence the shower’s name). However, they can appear almost anywhere in the night sky, and often appear yellowish in hue. Well north of the equator, the radiant rises about sunset, reaching a usable elevation from the local evening hours onwards.

Annual event; December


How to best view a Meteor Shower

California Deserts

California Christmas Cabins