Stargazing through the Darkest Texas Skies

Hi I’m Santi/Flickr Creative Commons

There are no skies darker than those of Ft. Davis, Texas. Yes, the same Ft. Davis that is way out by Big Bend National Park. In fact, the skies out here in Ft. Davis, are some of the darkest skies in the entire United States. Now, as a proud daughter of Texas, I’d be inclined to brag a little here, as every Texan should. But, no folks, I don’t need to brag. It’s  just good old-fashioned, “Science FACT”.

David O’Hearn

At MacDonald Observatory, in Ft. Davis you can easily see deep into a picture perfect, clear night sky.  When you get out this far, you are miles from the harsh city light pollution. Something I think we’ve become immune to at this point. I’ve made the trek out to West Texas many time before and no time is more humbling, awe inspiring and comforting than the last. Out here, the only pollution I can see are skies littered with billions of stars, glittering like diamonds over an infinite bed of Stardust. And, that’s only what I can see with the naked eye. Take a gander through one of the telescopes at the observatory for yourself. Trust me, you will never look at Saturn as “That planet with the rings” again.

Be sure to sign up for the Star Party and on clear nights (which is most nights). You’ll have a front row seat to the greatest show on Earth. Constellations, planets, and stars are pointed out and the interstellar dance is explained that even a Texan can understand. Yes, Texans have a sense of humor as well.

While you’re out there you can head down the road to Marfa, Texas for a little cinematic history (parts of “Giant” were filmed here), some impressive modern art as well as, true, salt of the Earth, Texans. And if you’re the type to go UFO chasing, well, check out the mysterious “Marfa Lights”. See if you can come to your own conclusion of what all those darn lights are out there.

If there are stars to be seen, there is no doubt that West Texas is the place to see them.

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