Heaven starts at 7000 feet

50 years ago I lived near Flagstaff, Arizona. I have vivid memories of night skies so bright that I could read by just the light of the stars and the Milky Way. I had great fun with my 3" Sears reflecting telescope.

There have been a lot of changes in 50 years and my eyes are not what they used to be, but northern Arizona skies are still very dark. There are just enough mountains to dry out the air. The Colorado Plateau makes for stable air and 7000 feet of altitude puts you above a lot of atmosphere.

I have an A-frame about half way to Sunset Crater from Flagstaff. The sky is black all the way to the horizon with only a light sky glow in the SW from nearby Flagstaff.

The sky is so full of stars it took me a moment to find Polaris. I did some trial image runs of Jupiter and Saturn, but the seeing was stirred up from the front that passed earlier in the day. My first Saturn of the year taken while it was still low in the sky came out OK. Things look good for the rest of the week, and I hope to do much better.

Content created: 2017-05-23




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