Horsehead Nebula (left) and Orion Nebula (M42) were photographed by guest Terry Honyoust on January 26, 2019.
Public events are cancelled through the end of March. Sky’s The Limit is following State and Federal guidelines to limit large gatherings. Recent Star Parties have drawn as many as 200 – 400 guests from across the US and around the world. Out of concern for our guests and visitors as well as our astronomers and volunteers, we are cancelling events through the end of March.
No decisions yet about events scheduled for April.
The Campus is ALWAYS open to explore. QR codes posted around campus, when scanned with a smartphone, will take you to a text or audio explanation of what you are seeing.
PLEASE NOTE If a Saturday date is not listed here, it means the Moon is too bright that weekend for stargazing. The following are the dates of our free public events. See the SPECIAL EVENTS page for other dates.
STAR PARTY DATES IN 2020
Please note that these are the dates of Star Parties throughout the year. If a date is not listed, the moon is too bright for stargazing that night. The campus is always open, however, so you may come watch the full desert moon rise, or enjoy an evening under the awesome desert sky, but there will be no telescopes out.
Be aware that there are no overnight stays or camping allowed on campus. No pets, no smoking, no alcohol, and carry out all trash.
The list shows the dates of star parties and to the right the times of sunset. Star parties start approximately 1 hour after sunset and last approximately 2 hours.
Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center invites guests to enjoy these FREE events; no advance reservations are required.
The Observatory is just outside the North entrance to Joshua Tree National Park at 9697 Utah Trail, Twentynine Palms.
STL has a variety of types and sizes of telescopes set up for viewing, and guests are invited to bring their own binoculars and scopes as well. Pads are provided for telescope setup, and STL volunteers will make every effort to assist as needed in setting up and using equipment.
Guests are encouraged to come around sunset to have time to get familiar with the campus and visit other educational attractions before stargazing begins at dark. There is no formal program, however, so guests are free to arrive or leave whenever they wish.
A flashlight, headlamp, etc. with a red lens is welcome. Red lighting is the preferred lighting at astronomical facilities because white light adversely affects night vision which in turn affects viewing through a telescope.
The campus is at 2800 ft, so it can be chilly, even in the warm months. Everyone should dress for unpredictable desert weather and bring snacks, water bottles, and chairs. There are restrooms but no running water on campus. Children under 16 must be accompanied by adults. No pets and no smoking allowed on the STL campus, and visitors must carry out all trash.
Telescopes cannot see through clouds, rain adversely affects them, and wind causes them to shake, which gives a jittery and disappointing image.
Sky's The Limit hosts free public star parties on Saturday nights – except when the Moon is full or near full. However, THE CAMPUS IS ALWAYS OPEN if you would like to bring your telescope to observe or take photographs. Just be aware that there is no running water on campus, and the restrooms will be locked if no docent is present.
A scheduled star party may have to be cancelled or delayed due to clouds, rain, or excessive wind, but docents will make every effort to provide an alternative program if telescope viewing is not possible. Check our Facebook Page @skysthelimit29 or follow @STL29Palms on Twitter to learn the latest status of an event.
Observatory and Nature Center 9697 Utah Trail P. O. Box 1 Twentynine Palms, California 92277 760-490-9561