Big Bear Stargazing
Look to the skies for the ultimate stargazing experience in Big Bear!
The sky is the ultimate art gallery just above us. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Big Bear Lake sits in an ideal location for stargazing and night sky photography. Away from the bright, big city lights and at its high altitude, the night skies over the Big Bear valley stay dark enough to view constellations, meteor showers, and even the Milky Way!
However, the beautiful night sky is what we make it. Help us conserve our dark skies by turning off unneeded lights and limiting landscape lighting when the sun goes down. Not only will you make the night sky better, you'll be conserving energy as well!
Big Bear Stargazing 101
What's the best way to view the night sky?
Look for a location away from bright nighttime lights and with a wide view of the sky. It will take your eyes about 10-15 minutes to adapt to the dark. Use a red flashlight to keep your dark adaption intact; you will lose this using an ordinary flashlight. If you are new to stargazing, you might want to use a pair of binoculars. Many celestial objects are visible with binoculars, including the moon and some planets or download one of many free stargazing apps to help you navigate the sky above.
Celestial Events 2023
Big Bear Solar Observatory Tours
Astronomy at Big Bear Discovery Center
Head to the Big Bear Discovery Center on Oct 13, Nov 17, Dec 8 for Star Party events with the Bear Valley Astronomical Society.
Leonids Meteor Shower: November 17–18
Switch off unused and outdoor lighting to help darken the skies to view this seasonal meteor shower!
Big Bear's Night Sky Advocates
Big Bear Valley Astronomical Society
BBVAS is a group of Big Bear locals who come together to share the joy, wonder and science of Astronomy. They welcome all levels of astronomers in the Big Bear Valley.
BBVAS meets monthly on the second Thursday of the month at 6 PM via Zoom and hold monthly star parties on Saturdays closest to the new moon and Sidewalk Astronomy events in the Village on Saturdays closest to the first quarter moon. Both events are held during the Spring and Summer months only and weather permitting. For further information please contact Vatch Arouchian at AstroVatch@gmail.com or visit bearvalleyastronomers.org.
Big Bear Solar Observatory
One of Big Bear's most iconic landmarks is the Solar Observatory, operated by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The telescopes on the premises are specially made for observing and studying the Sun.
The Observatory does offer public tours of the grounds, check their website for info.
Help Big Bear Protect the Night Sky
Big Bear is a prime location for star gazing, but only if we keep it that way. Help the valley conserve the night skies by switching off unused lights at night - like landscape lighting, outdoor lights, and bright indoor lights.