May 15, 2017
There appears to be a connection to the cosmos within each one of us. Humanity is captivated by the stars. We gaze up towards the galaxy and create our own constellations. We write our own stories. We attempt to comprehend the vast, unending space that the night sky presents. Perhaps this connection stems from the fact that, as famed astronomer Carl Sagan points out, “We are made of star stuff . . . Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious.”
Whatever the reasoning may be, this cosmic connection remains. Unfortunately, many Americans do not get to fully experience the beauty of the night sky. Those living in cities and suburbs have such a limited view that it pales in comparison to true wonders that the galaxy encapsulates. Far from the light pollution of big cities and protected by park rangers, Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the last few sanctuaries of natural darkness. The area provides the perfect scene to experience astronomy.
During the New Moon, Jupiter is bright enough to cast a shadow, the Ring Nebula looks close enough to touch and the Andromeda Galaxy, more than 2 million lightyears away, can be clearly observed. With the proper equipment, there are no limits to what you can observe in Bryce Canyon Country.
The sky isn’t the only thing to see at night, however. As the moon and stars cast light down onto the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, the landscape is seen in a whole new light (literally). The night sky combining with the beautiful red rocks make for a truly special experience.
The National Parks Service provides astronomers who take you through guided tours of night sky. Anywhere from 100 to 300 visitors are present each night. The beauty behind the astronomical tours is that you never know what you’re going to find. There is something new to see every night, making it a personal, unique experience every time you look up at the sky.
Just how far can the human eye see? On a clear night in Bryce Canyon, that’s the question that doesn’t seem to have a definitive answer. Cherish this last grand sanctuary of natural darkness by attending a multimedia show followed by stargazing with telescopes (weather permitting). Upon your arrival, stop by the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center to pick the program of your choice and learn whereabouts of its starting location. Join our team of astronomic rangers as they explore the night sky and the beautiful of the galaxy around us. For more information about astronomy in Bryce Canyon National Park, click here.