Stargazing
in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The Milky Way, Galaxies, Constellations, Meteor Showers, the Moon and more - the Night Skies in Anza-Borrego are breathtaking spectacles.

USA Today selected the Anza-Borrego Desert as one of America's "Top 10 Stargazing Communities in San Diego" because artificial light is at a minimum:

"With over 600,000 acres and 500 miles of dirt roads, Anza-Borrego, located two hours east of San Diego, has long been a favorite of amateur astronomers, and particularly astro-photographers. Dark skies and low humidity combine to make this a stargazer's paradise."

see also: 
Dark skies, bright future
Borrego Springs achieves Dark Sky Community designation!
When it comes to stargazing, Borrego Springs is a star
 
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Stars Galore

In the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park at times you can see so many stars at night it is simply overwhelming!  For stargazing tips click here.   

Click here for detailed information on Stargazing from www.StarDate.org


Meteor Showers

Most meteor showers from North America can be seen in the later part of the year. The Perseid Meteor Shower is usually the most noted summertime display. Leonid & Geminid Showers also are good shows. Check out the charts below for best viewing & perfect timing.  For exact Dates & Times to view the Meteor Showers click here.

All you need to observe these celestial displays are a dark sky, a way to stay comfortable, and a little patience. Light pollution or moonlight will drastically reduce the number of meteors you see, so plan accordingly. This is a perfect time for a camping trip. A dark site with an open expanse of the sky is supreme. After all flashlights are out & you get away from the campfire light - give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the dark. Settle in, look up, and relax.

Keep campfires low or do without one all together for this evening of stargazing. Make yourself comfortable with a reclining lawn chair, sleeping bag, coffee or hot chocolate. Have plenty of snacks on hand along with good music and the company of other stargazers. Remember keep your eyes turned toward the assigned NE direction of the sky.

Start your watch no earlier than midnight or 2 a.m. or preferably later. The hour or two before dawn should be best of all. If camping, as ridiculous as it seems, bring a portable alarm clock with you. For most people this will be a 'wake early & view' not a 'stay-up-late & miss it' project.

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The Moon in all it's phases

Click here to see the moon phase for any given night.

  • Full Moons
  • When the moon is close to full, it's a great time for night hikes or mountain biking around desert roads at night. The bright reflection makes it difficult for star gazing, but it is perfect for checking out the moons surface with a telescope.
  • No Moons / New Moon
  • When there is no moon visible in the dark sky it is considered a new moon. This is the best time to see the stars because of the lack of moonlight in the nights sky. Just like the full moon, there is one new moon per month, approx. 15 days from the full moon date.
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Resources:

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