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.
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Check out NASA for all the details