“The sky is the ultimate art gallery just above us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
“The treasures hidden in the heavens are so rich that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.”Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
The desert skies of Death Valley and Amargosa Valley are among the least light-polluted in the United States, and one of our greatest treasures.
Those who let their eyes wander upward at night, away from all man-made lights, behold a completely amazing and infinitely star-studded night sky!
Folks who visit from nearby Las Vegas have exclaimed, “You mean I only had to drive 80 miles to see my boyhood sky?” More than 40% of Americans have never gazed at the dark night sky. They’ve never marveled at a sky richly textured in stars, or seen the sweep of the Milky Way, or watched a meteor shower streaking across the sky above. It is wonderful to see Hubble telescope pictures or recorded science shows, but to watch the stars twinkling and changing throughout the night in person is truly inspiring.
Available Night Sky Programs
Full moon nights in the desert are spectacular, but during the New Moon phase when the moon is dark, many more stars, galaxies and nebulas can be observed. We can deepen our experience of moonless nights with a good pair of binoculars and especially with telescopes. Check our Events page for:
- Evenings in October and January with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society and a variety of telescopes at the Death Valley Park airport. For more information, contact Phyllis Nefsky at 760 786 3353 or email@example.com.
- Monthly Star Parties at the Tecopa Hot Spring Resort, on Friday and Saturday nights closest to the new moon, from September through May. Equipment used is an 11” Celestron scope with a connected color Mallin camera, so the images are displayed on a monitor and sometimes a screen. For more information, contact the Resort at 760 852 4420 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both are an exciting way to learn more and have fun. Since we are always moving and the universe is too, there are always fresh perspectives to explore, always something new to observe and learn.
What to Bring?
Bring a flashlight (with a red lens if you have it),drinking water and snacks, appropriate clothing and a blanket or chair. Be careful when parking or walking to prevent your headlights and flashlights from blinding your fellow astronomers.
About the International Dark Sky Movement
The issue of light pollution is becoming better understood all the time. As we improve how we use artificial light, we reduce our energy use, and improve our safety. That’s right, too much light actually hinders safety, by assaulting the rods and cones in your eyes, as you move between a dark space and an over lit spac). There’s a lot we can do even in cities, to reduce light pollution. The International Dark Sky Association has a wonderful website with a lot more in depth information. Go to http://www.darksky.org/ to find out what you can do in your own neighborhood and why.