In the May/June 2012 issue of Sky News: The Canadian Magazine of Astronomy & Stargazing, I look at Jasper National Park and Dark Sky Preserve (the world’s largest dark sky preserve, by a factor of 10!) in the Canadian Rockies.
If you haven’t read the column (Wilderness Astronomer) about this incredible “Disney World of dark sky preserves”, you can grab it on news stands (including those at WalMart) subscribe, or buy an online edition here.
If you have read the column and are here to check out the as-promised web-links, here you go!:
Recommended stargazing sites:
Here are the sites I’ve researched and recommend in the magazine:
- Marmot Meadows group campground
- Pyramid Island
- Big Bend interior campground (#34 on this map)
- Icefield Parkway/Athabasca Glacier and nearby campgrounds
- also worthwhile is Maligne Lake…
- …and stargazing near the rushing waters of Maligne Canyon (pictured at right) or Athabasca Falls pictured at night, here
ALSO: Jasper is such a large dark sky preserve and is so full of amazing observing sites, it actually has its own web site to guide you through some of them, complete with 360 panoramas. Check the Clear Sky Clocks for stargazing conditions at each at the bottom of the homepage:
Parks Canada astronomy programming and events in 2012
Not including the October 12-14 Dark Sky Festival, there are dozens of other astronomy evening amphitheatre talks, daytime sun and moon observing sessions, and special events in Jasper National Park. Here’s your guide to each and every one in 2012.
Back by popular-demand, the world’s biggest astronomy park will host a world-class slate of presenters, special art and food-based events, stargazing opportunities, experiences for kids, and how-to sessions for budding polar-fleece stargazers, October 12-14, 2012.
Our Canadian Geographic article on Jasper Dark Sky preserve
I wrote a cover story last year as Jasper’s DSP designation was completed, and Yuichi provided the photos – We had a blast travelling through the Jasper front and back-country in July 2010 to research this love letter to the Disney World of dark sky preserves. You can read it, here.
Dark Sky hotel package
Numerous hotels in Jasper will offer special Dark Sky Festival specials in October.
Meanwhile, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (whose canoe docks are pictured under the full moon, at right) now offers a year-round astronomy package.