A recent astronomical event caused major excitement throughout the North American continent as a rare total eclipse of the moon was visible.  Those lucky enough to be within the direct of the path were treated to an unforgettable sight. For those not in the direct path, the next best thing was a trip to a local observatory to gaze upon the heavens in wonder.

Okay, being in a southern California location was not the optimal point to view the eclipse. However, there is a well-known bed and breakfast in Julian that caters to amateur astronomers and provides a means to view heavenly bodies. And, it was time for me to re-acquaint myself with the spectacular stars.

Featuring a range of telescopes and a very knowledgable proprietor, Observer's Inn is located  near the historic mining district of Julian.  Located in northeast San Diego County, Observer’s Inn is near to the Cleveland National Forest, the Anza Borrego Desert and the Pacific Ocean.

The highlight of your stay at Observer’s Inn features a guided tour of the night sky.  Depending on time of season (and cloud cover), the star offerings do change.  On this late summer evening with slight cloud cover, there were several intriguing sights to view through high-power scientific quality telescopes.  A binary star, globular cluster, and Saturn with clear view of its rings were some of the sights on display.

The picture of the moon was taken on a cellphone camera through a telescope lens.

If you are looking for something different, a Star Tour may be in your future.  From scenic drives through the mountains or the nearby desert during the day, to a tour of the night skies, adventure awaits.

For a sampling of incredible views of the stars available, see the Observer's Inn Gallery.

You need not have your own telescope. You are welcome to bring your own telescopes and binoculars.  And, don’t forget to bring a camera for spectacular moon pictures.