Lake City News – May 2019 – Night Skies

Because of its remote location, Lake City is well suited for great stargazing opportunities. On a clear night, one can marvel at the moon, planets, constellations, and other spectacular phenomena of our universe. Certainly, a good set of binoculars or telescope will enhance your “up close” viewing.

One of the best places in Lake City to view the stars is The Slumgullion Discovery Center, a sixty-acre parcel of land located 3 miles south of Lake City.

The Lake Fork Valley Conservancy (LFVC) staff and local volunteers are currently preparing an extensive application with the International Dark-Sky Association to have the proposed Slumgullion Discovery Center designated as a Dark Sky Park.  A Dark Sky Park is one of six designations identified by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). IDA is an award-winning organization that was established in 2002 to recognize and promote areas that provide excellent stewardship of the night sky.

Night-sky photography is also getting very popular, and the internet – particularly Instagram – is full of stunning images of star fields and the Milky Way. They may look like highly polished images taken by photographers with years of experience, but it’s actually advances in modern cameras that are the main reason for the genre’s sudden popularity.

If you have a camera with a good deal of manual control and a clear sky, taking pictures of the night sky is much easier than you might think. Check out our tips for photographing the night sky. 

Watching for meteors, one of the best astronomy activities in Lake City, is absolutely free and requires nothing more than patience, the naked eye, and mostly clear sky conditions. Although they last only seconds, meteors are always fun to watch as they streak across the sky. And, there are times a fireball (a very large meteor) may flash above. There will be an abundant variety of astronomical events in 2019. 

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