Jasper Dark Sky Preserve
Replace the Disney fireworks with meteorites and a perfect, almost cloudless sky and it seemed otherworldly.
I had been watching the astronomy forecast page for a few days looking for a break in the weather so that I could have another try at photographing the Milky Way. It seemed that for twelve hours it would be great and then just before I was about to pack clear dark skies were replaced with cloudy weather.
Friday evening in the national park was to be cloudy but close to midnight the skies were to clear up. Would the forecast hold? Only one way to find out.
By 3:00 pm I was on the highway making my way west. When I arrived in the park clouds were everywhere. Here’s to hoping I thought. Sunset was around 9:30 pm and from my previous trip I noticed that it took an hour and a half until the last bits of sun lighting up the north western horizon were gone.
Dark, black, clear, cloudless skies! For the first little while the odd car or motorhome would buzz along the highway lighting up the valley. Today’s digital cameras are really remarkable with their high ISO sensitivity. What would seem like a dim band of light against the sides of the valley would show up as almost bright lights on my camera display. Truly amazing.
When it gets as dark as it does in Jasper National Park the milky way is easy to see on cloudless nights. The camera records more than what the human eye is capable of.
The photo at the top of this post is one of many I took that night. I shot like crazy as the milky way slowly made it’s way from the southern to the western sky.
If you get a chance to experience a dark sky area like Jasper’s you must do it. It is the experience of a lifetime looking up and seeing our galaxy edgewise emblazoned across the sky.