Dark sky preserves across the state offer stellar stargazing experiences.
For our ancestors, a view of the cosmos made for nightly scenery. Today, most of us enjoy the stars only a few times a year. The reason? A pristine night sky has become something of a luxury, and even areas outside cities can’t escape the light pollution. But in Nevada, wide-open landscapes promise plentiful stargazing opportunities.
There are dark skies, and then there are dark skies, like what glimmers overhead at the Massacre Rim Dark Sky Sanctuary. This remote desertscape joins a mere six other locations around the world as one of the darkest places on Earth. Reno—the nearest city—is 150 miles south, and the nearest services are 40 miles away, so plan accordingly before making the trek.
Great Basin National Park
The night sky found at Nevada’s only national park ranks among the best in the nation: you’ll see the Milky Way on stunning display each night. Stargazing here is something of a specialty, evident in the park’s research-grade observatory.
Throughout summer and fall, visitors can attend ranger-led Astronomy Talks at the newly built Astronomy Amphitheatre.
Tonopah Stargazing Park
This park near downtown Tonopah boasts amenities that amateur astronomers and families will appreciate. With plentiful picnic tables and concrete pads for securing a telescope or camera, the night sky is yours to admire before returning to the comfort of a hot meal and hotel bed.
FALL SKY CALENDAR
Plan your stargazing around these upcoming events. Remember that the best time for stargazing is on and around the new moon.
11 Full moon
12-13 Perseid Meteor Shower
14 Saturn visible sunset to sunrise
26 New moon
8-9 Draconid Meteor Shower
9 Full moon
16-17 Lincoln County
22-24 Great Basin
25 New moon
26 Jupiter visible sunset to sunrise
9 Full moon
20-21 Orionid Meteor Shower
24 New moon