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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Stargazing Road Trip

Above, a map to the closest recommended stargazing location to me. NPS map.

Back in my college days, I had to take a natural science class of some sort while attending California State University, Long Beach as required.

I immediately chose astronomy since I had more than just a passing interest in the subject.

The class was a fun one as it included outings to O'Neill Park in Orange County for stargazing. I still have the refractor telescope I bought from the classmate.

Do It Yourself RV has an article on some of the best places for stargazing, ranging from Big Bend National Park (in Texas) to Yellowstone National Park.

Interestingly, the second place named in the article is the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The park is not too far from me in New Mexico. The road to Chaco (Highway 371) is reached in Thoreau, New Mexico, which is only about 20 miles away from me.

The article begins with:
The International Dark-Sky Association recognizes places around the world with the darkest night skies.  Specifically, they designate places that take extra measures to reduce light pollution and have astronomy programs for visitors. 
Many of the IDA Dark Sky Parks are right here in the U.S.  They’re in quiet, remote areas, far away from the light pollution in cities, especially across the desert southwest and the Colorado Plateau. 
Using our favorite trip planner RV Trip Wizard, we mapped out a route where you can visit ten great stargazing parks in a row.  You can plan this route from Big Bend National Park to Yellowstone, or vice versa, and complete the trip in a few weeks or a few months, depending on how much time you want to spend at each stop.  Don’t forget to pack some binoculars or a telescope.

To read more, go here.

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