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.
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 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, also 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 to spotting it is to look for the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. Orion’s belt, three stars close together, point to that bright star. Orion is an hourglass-shaped 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 in Leo is called the Sickle. The triangle to the left of the Sickle forms the hindquarters and tail of the lion.
What’s visible in the cosmos changes throughout the year, so referring to celestial calendars is always a good idea. Here are a few phenomena worth keeping an eye out for throughout the year.
There are plenty of free apps you can download for a little guidance navigating the night sky. And if you’d prefer a little more hands-on help, Dennis Mammana is a local astronomer who hosts personalized tours of the cosmos on nights without moonlight. You can learn more about his tours here.
No matter how you choose to stargaze, viewing the cosmos from an International Dark Night Sky Community is simply out of this world.
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