WHAT IN THE WORLD IS AN ORRERY?
By Ken Drummond
An Orrery is a model of the Solar System, usually constructed as a clock-work mechanism that sits on a desktop. A large,
outdoor “human” Orrery is located just a few hundred yards before the north entrance to Joshua Tree National Park at SKY’S
THE LIMIT Observatory and Nature Center in Twentynine Palms, California. This Orrery is visible from space! Zoom in with
Ancient Astronomers Visit the Area
By Ken Drummond
Known for its spectacular starry skies, Morongo Basin has been the destination for recent visits by a number of famous
astronomers, some of them from several hundred years ago. Galileo, Johannes Kepler, and Edmund Halley gave interviews
during their appearances.
Here is a recap of their remarks during visits to Sky’s The Limit events at Luckie Park on the occasions of the solar eclipse
THE MEDITATION GARDEN OF SKY’S THE LIMIT
The familiar Japanese garden was modeled after Chinese gardens that historically go back over two thousand years and
contain a pond, trees, rocks, and plants: lots of green. The first mention of a Dry Landscape Garden was found in an 11th
century Japanese garden manual which stated “ A garden without a stream or pond where one arranges rocks.”
This perennial, earth-hugging vine grows above
ground from a large bulbous root, with stems 1-4
feet (30-120 cm) long spreading along the
ground. Large yellow flowers are 2-3 inches (5-
8 cm) across and bloom from late spring through
summer. Melons are 3-4 inches (8-9 cm) in
diameter and are a light green with whitish strips.
The melon’s flesh is not edible but Native
Americans ground the seeds for food, and did
use the flesh of the melon to make soap.
Coyote melons are usually found below 4000 ft
(1200 m) in sandy areas and washes.