In August our ambassadors had a lucky night of clear skies during monsoon season! They gathered with Isaiah Ortiz (@isaiah.ortiz_) at the edge of the Mogollon Rim for a night of stargazing and unforgettable experience with our home galaxy! They saw incredible views over the forests of Central Arizona on a sunset-to-night hike on the Rim Lake Vista Trail, tried night photography and experimented with star viewing apps on their mobile devices. See what our ambassadors had to share about this magical night!

Just the beginning of what would be the most spectacular night of skywatching!


“With a few pointers from Isaiah, these were my first few attempts at some astrophotography… the first one is of the Milky Way looking southwest toward Phoenix. It’s not twilight, that’s light pollution from the Valley 100 miles away! I really like how the stars shine through the low-level clouds (you can even see the light trail from a plane)…”

“The second photo is looking northwest away from the rim. Notice how little light pollution there is in contrast to the first picture. It’s just a good reminder to get out of the city and take advantage of the incredible dark skies we have in Arizona.”


Night sky photography tips from @arizona.wildermiss:
*You need a red head lamp or flashlight to preserve night vision
*If you’re using an iPhone, you’ll need a tripod and a remote
*When the phone is hands free, you can choose a 30 second exposure
*Download a stargazing app on your phone before you go
*Do some homework to locate a Dark Sky Community

This was one of the most amazing experiences and we have Isaiah to thank for his incredible work and knowledge on the galaxy.


The Big Dipper constellation (centered in the lower half of the photo between two pines)


Isaiah Ortiz is working on an Arizona stargazing adventure guide which will include 50 locations all over Arizona. Follow him on Instagram to stay informed!



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