- Learn more about dark skies
• To tag along on the Capital City Astronomy Club’s next outing, or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Visit Clayton Lake State Park in the northeastern corner of the state for some of the best dark skies in the country. In 2009, the park, along with Star Point Observatory, was designated as a Dark Sky Park (one of only a handful worldwide) by the International Dark-Sky Association. Or head south to the Leasburg Dam State Park near Las Cruces to experience its new Astronomical Observatory.
• The Santa Fe Conservation Trust’s next star party isn’t scheduled until October, but for updates and a ton of resources (including links to articles about light pollution, interactive online star maps and things you can do to support dark skies), visit www.sfct.org
• Interested in finding a dark sky near you? iPhone and iPad users can download the Dark Sky Finder application for 99 cents. The app shows varying levels of light pollution on a satellite or traditional map, while virtual pins represent “dark sites” suitable for star gazing. Each dark site entry offers detailed information about the site, including ownership, whether or not there’s a bathroom and a place to sleep and the evening’s forecast. After visiting a dark site, app users can add their review.
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 6:05 pm
Updated: 12:20 am, Fri Apr 26, 2013.
Gaze into the sky on a moonless night in April in the Northern Hemisphere, and pick out Hydra, the sea serpent, Regulus, the “heart of the lion” star in the Leo constellation, and Crater, which represents the goblet of the Greek god Apollo.
Of course, depending on where you are — standing under a streetlight, say, or in many urban and suburban environments — the stars can be hard to see. Light pollution (light emitted at night that extends beyond the horizontal plane, shining up instead of down) affects not only our ability to stargaze, but also the environment and safety: Certain lights throw off glares that can actually make it harder to see at night, and many lights left on at night waste energy and can confuse wildlife.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 6:05 pm.
Updated: 12:20 am.