Book

The altitude here helps make for some ideal stargazing (due to the lack of particulate matter in the atmosphere). Though there is a light dome from the western horizon to about 30 degrees upward, the overhead view is very dark and offer views of the Milky Way.

There are many excellent locations around the Valley for stargazing. For the best views, look for a location away from bright nighttime lights and with as wide a view of the skies as possible. It will take your eyes about 10-15 minutes to adapt to the dark. Using a red flashlight will keep your dark adaption intact; if you use a white light, you will lose your dark adaption. Many stores sell headlamps with red and white LEDs. When you reach your observing location, switch to red only. These work very well.

If you are new to astronomy, you might want to first use a pair of binoculars. There are many bright and beautiful objects that are visible in binoculars, including the moon and planets. A simple app on your smartphone or a printed planisphere or sky map will guide you through the skies.

Visit BearValleyAstronomers.org for additional info and to find star maps and stargazing insights.

Come and enjoy the beautiful skies in Big Bear!