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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Camping Under The Stars

Above, Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

One of the great benefits of camping in the high desert is that the skies are filled with stars to stargaze at.

Two years ago, I camped out at Joshua Tree National Park and attended the ranger program one night on constellations at the Cottonwood Campground amphitheater. Even though it was a bitter cold night, it was an enjoyable program with clear skies.

Above, The Beast at Cottonwood Campground at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Hesperia Star has an article on stargazing out in the deserts of California.

It begins with:
Right here in our own high desert, are some of the most clear sky and beautiful star gazing camping areas that you can imagine. Many camping spots are uncrowded and not hampered in your star gazing experience by city lights. Some years ago, Russ and Lori camped at Joshua Tree National Monument where we were able to witness Haley’s Comet pass by our planet. 
In those days, it took some planning and study to know what constellations you were looking for. It was a fun study, and still is. Yet, you can find a free application for your cellphone that actually gives you a visual and audio explanation of exactly where you are looking in the sky.

There is no need for expensive equipment to enjoy star gazing. One can simply kick back in their camping chair. Go with a pair of binoculars if you want a bit more of a close-up. Telescopes can be had very inexpensively as well. What you are looking for are the camping areas that tend to be a little darker at night for the full effect.
To read more, go here

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