Great success with New Mexico Star Party

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, May 02, 2017

America’s Darkest Sky Star Party took place under some of the best skies in the U.S. near Animas, New Mexico, April 29, 2017. Photo by David J. Eicher.

On Saturday, April 29, 2017, Dark Sky New Mexico held its first star party, America’s Darkest Sky Star Party, near Animas, New Mexico. Several dozen people attended and had spectacular views of the night sky. We had a young Moon for a time before it slipped away, accompanied by the stars of Orion, and we viewed many springtime constellations and objects hanging overhead. The facility we used is in the hands of new owners, Larry Rosenberg, Steven Blum, and Michael Hensley, and about a dozen observatory buildings are scattered across the area, some equipped with very high end scopes and concentrating on deep-sky imaging. 

In the afternoon, Astronomy Senior Editor Michael Bakich and I each gave two lectures. Michael spoke on the coming total solar eclipse and on a variety of targets we would view from this dark sky later in the evening. I spoke on the great advances in the science of astronomy over the past decade and on 25 challenging and obscure deep-sky objects. 

We had a wonderful time. You can see more about this group on its website, http://darkskynewmexico.com/

The group plans a larger and longer star party in the autumn, probably in October. I’ll keep you informed about the plans. 

Believe me, the astronomy community needs a dark sky sanctuary site where we can go occasionally for world-class observing and imaging. This is it. 

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