Beneath a blanket of stars

When planning my trip to Utah, I took some advice from Miss Foott and scheduled my trip as close to the new moon, when the sky was as dark as possible.

Ms Foott said: ‘The light from the moon may seem dim, but it can dramatically alter the night scene. “The new moon is the best time to see faint objects that can be washed away by moonlight like the Milky Way and dim stars. This can also be achieved when the moon has set or when the moon is only partially illuminated”.

On the morning of October 4th – as the moon was receding – I landed at Salt Lake City International Airport and drove to town. Moababout 230 miles to the southeast and is the gateway to Canyonlands and Arches, two of Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks, also include Bryce canyon, Capitol Reef and Zion.

In my tiny Ford Fiesta with all the windows down, I got my first glimpse of Utah’s often photographed sandstone formations, spiers, outcrops and hoods (or earth pyramids). ) as well as the undulating canyons and natural bridges that bring the state to life geographically. With just a few more days to take care of elderly parents, I was short on time, so I needed to skip another nearby center for stargazers, Canyonlands National Park, and just focus into the Arches, where I planned to meet an old friend. , Thom Harrop, a native of Utah and a photographer.

After many hours of driving, and a little bit of trepidation, I dropped into the former mining town of Moab, which serves as a camping ground for tourists, mountaineers, mountain bikers, hikers long and stargazing. The range of restaurants in Moab cater to a variety of palates while a growing number of hotels cater to the needs of people who want to enjoy sandstone and then sleep in thin sheets, a demographic that I very attentive.

Still back home in Tennessee, I heard that a particular long-used stargazing spot at the Arches called Panoramic point Recently upgraded. Joette Langianese, chief executive officer of Friends of Arches Park and Canyonlands, The nonprofit that was critical in assigning dark skies to both parks, confirmed that it had built an outdoor skywatching space with telescope panels and seating for 75 people.

“Recently, people go there with their own telescopes, and sometimes a ranger will come and talk to them,” Ms. Langianese said. “Both Canyonlands and Arches have scheduled night sky shows, but because of Covid they were cancelled, so they were on autopilot.” Beneath a blanket of stars

Fry Electronics Team

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