Let’s say you’re interested in stargazing in Southern California. In that case, you might wonder, “When can I see the Milky Way in Joshua Tree?”
The best time to view the Milky Way in Joshua Tree is during the Milky Way season when the core of the Milky Way is visible. In Joshua Tree, the galactic center is best visible from April to August, but there are also other times it’s visible. In this article, I’ll provide the exact monthly times for Joshua Tree and go into more detail about the Milky Way.
In this article, you get
The Milky Way core rise and set times for Joshua Tree
To learn about the Joshua Tree Milky Way Season
Information about the Milky Way galaxy Joshua Tree
Tips on how to best observe the Milky Way
Best time to see Milky Way in Joshua Tree
By the end of the article, you’ll be able to plan your perfect stargazing trip to Joshua Tree, complete with seeing the Milky Way Galactic Center.
Let’s dive right in.
Recommended For You
WHEN CAN I SEE THE MILKY WAY IN JOSHUA TREE?
The best time to view the Milky Way is usually late at night or early in the morning, especially during a New Moon, during the Milky Way season (spring to fall). This is when the sky is darkest, and you’ll have the best conditions for viewing the Milky Way.
I’ve listed below the exact times of monthly rise and set for the Milky Way Galactic Center.
I’m using mid-month dates, like January 15th, February 15th, etc.
As you can see, the core of the Milky Way is only visible in the early morning until early spring. Then it rises late in the summer and sets in the early morning or evening towards the end of summer. It is only visible for a few hours after sunset by late summer.
In December, the galactic center isn’t visible at all.
The Milky Way Galactic Center rise and set times for the middle of each month. This is the best time to see the Milky Way in Joshua Tree.
When can you see the Milky Way in Joshua Tree?
- January 5:10 am – 5:21 am
- February 3:08 am – 5:03 am
- March 2:18 am – 5:30 am
- April 0:16 am – 4:44 am
- May 10:18 pm – 4:05 am
- June 9:41 pm – 3:48 am
- July 9:36 pm – 3:29 am
- August 9:01 pm – 1:27 am
- September 8:14 pm – 11:26 pm
- October 7:33 pm – 9:28 pm
- November 6:06 pm – 6:25 pm
- December not visible
IS THE MILKY WAY VISIBLE EVERY NIGHT?
Can you see the Milky Way in Joshua Tree? Yes, the Milky Way is visible every night in Joshua Tree National Park!
The park is designated an International Dark Sky Park and is one of the best places in the US to see the stars and the Milky Way.
To get the best view, go to the park when there’s a New Moon.
The darker, the better.
FREE STARGAZING CHECKLIST
My 5-page Stargazing Checklist will enhance your astronomical observations.
Follow this free checklist to navigate the night sky with confidence, clarity, and a sense of preparedness for a rewarding stargazing experience.
WHEN IS MILKY WAY SEASON?
Even though the Milky Way is visible year-round, the core of the Milky Way is not.
The core is only sometimes visible throughout the year because it is in the sky during daylight hours.
The Milky Way Season is the term amateur astronomers use to describe when the core is visible at night.
HOW TO SEE THE MILKY WAY
Here are some tips for viewing the Milky Way:
AVOID BRIGHT LIGHTS
The bright lights of nearby cities make it difficult to see the Milky Way. Find a spot away from city lights for the best viewing. Joshua Tree is perfect for this!
GO OUT ON A CLEAR NIGHT
Check the weather and plan your trip on a clear stargazing night.
USE RED LIGHT
White light can inhibit your ability to see the stars because it can affect your night vision. Use a red light or a flashlight with a red filter to preserve your night vision and make the Milky Way easier to see.
The Milky Way is a bright light in the night sky. It’s easy to see with the naked eye, but you can get a closer look using binoculars or a telescope.
HOW RARE IS IT TO SEE THE MILKY WAY?
Seeing the Milky Way in Joshua Tree National Park is incredibly easy! With no light pollution, it’s one of the best places in the US to do some stargazing. The sky is blazing with stars during a New Moon, and the Milky Way will pop!
If it’s a full moon, it will light up the sky, and you won’t get the same night sky experience. To learn more, read my article Can you still see stars with a full moon in Joshua Tree?
Arch Rock is one of the best spots for stargazing or taking photos of the night sky in Joshua Tree National Park.
Summary: Joshua Tree National Park Milky Way
If you’ve ever wanted to take in the beauty of the Milky Way, Joshua Tree National Park is the place to be! With its dark night skies, Joshua Tree offers you some of the best stargazing opportunities in California.
The best time to go to Joshua Tree for stargazing is during the Milky Way Season, which lasts from April to August. Be sure to visit to capture some stunning Joshua Tree Milky Way photos!
Visit during the new moon and bring binoculars or a telescope for optimal viewing.
And find out the answer to the question “Is Joshua Tree free at night?“
Additional articles from my Dark Sky Parks series you may enjoy:
- Acadia National Park stargazing
- Big Bend National Park stargazing
- Bryce Canyon National Park stargazing
- Death Valley National Park stargazing
- Great Basin National Park stargazing
- Haleakala National Park stargazing
- Joshua Tree National Park stargazing
- Olympic National Park stargazing
- Red Rock Canyon stargazing
- Zion National Park stargazing