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PMO Opens May 26-27 of Memorial Day weekend for public tours

It’s that time of year – public night sky tours at PMO begin Friday and Saturday, May 26-27, of Memorial Day weekend! Please note that there are no tours on Sunday and/or Monday, even when there is a Monday holiday. Always check the weather forecast and the PMO weather page before visiting; you should expect and prepare for nighttime temperatures in the 40s, even if it’s nice in town. Tours begin at about 9:00 p.m. and may last until midnight, although it’s not unusual for viewing to end earlier depending on conditions, so please arrive early, and check in at the greeting center next to the parking lot.

Sunset is about 8:40 p.m. Twilight viewing beginning about 9:00 p.m. will focus on the planet Jupiter, well-placed in the south about halfway up in the sky, not far from the bright star Spica. Saturn will not be visible until about 11:00 p.m., and even then will be very low in the SE sky, near the zodiac constellation of Sagittarius. (Viewing of Saturn will improve as the summer progresses.) The Moon will not be visible [correction – there was a thin crescent visible on Saturday May 27, but next weekend will be better]. Please wait one more week (until the first weekend in June) if you want a view of the Moon. However, the lack of moonlight the first public weekend will allow excellent viewing of certain star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and even a comet or two if sky conditions permit.

The PMO campground is a primitive Forest Service campground, and does not accept reservations. Although there’s plenty of space for smaller vehicles and tents, please do arrive early if you plan to camp.

We’re looking forward to another great season, and to seeing you at PMO!

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