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Best place to view the night sky

Minneapolis
Level Contributor
280 posts
44 reviews
Best place to view the night sky

First time in Sedona Oct 6-10th. We are not astronomy people but since we have the chance to maybe see some stars we are wondering what are the best places to venture out to look at the night sky? We are staying in West Sedona if that helps. TIA

6 replies to this topic
Kalispell, Montana
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Santa Fe, Sedona
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11,035 posts
773 reviews
1. Re: Best place to view the night sky

Sedona is a Night Sky area. So there is very little lighting to interfere with views.

Anywhere that you are out in the open and away from trees, park and look up. Since you are staying in West Sedona, drive up to the top of Airport Mesa or out along Dry Creek/Boynton Canyon scenic byway. After dark, there will not be all that much traffic in either of those 2 places.

Depending on where exactly you are staying in W Sedona, you may have perfect views right from/very near your hotel or B&B.

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Pompano Beach
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4,628 posts
84 reviews
2. Re: Best place to view the night sky

I would drive out Dry Creek Road. Keep making left turns at each T intersection you encounter. You will find a large parking lot at the Fay Canyon trailhead or simply continue until the paved road ends. At this point, you will have an open view to the south and west.

North Carolina
Level Contributor
1,795 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: Best place to view the night sky

I would go to the Airport Vortex to get good views of the horizons surrounding Sedona. I would also go out on the evening of October 8 if the sky is clear. I would be up on the ridge before Sunset (Sunset 6:01 pm) so bring flashlights!! If you go out this evening you may be able to see the following:

1) Just following Sunset beginning @ 18:20 all 5 naked eyed planets can be seen looking to where the Sun had previously set: Mercury (close to the horizon), Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars (red) along the Ecliptic Plane from west to east.

2) October 8 in the evening is the peak of the Draconids Meteor shower (10/hr) - look towards the Constellation Draco the dragon

3) The International Space Station (ISS) will make a fly over @ 19:44:05 near due North pass through the Big Dipper @ 19;46:27 and disappear @ 19:47:34. If you have never seen it before the ISS is quite the sight to see.

4) The central core of the Milky Way will brighten and rise vertically from the horizon ~ 1.5 hrs after Sunset as you look to the SSW.

5) If you do not have one - get an astronomy app for your phone so you can see the names of the planets, constellations and where the ISS is during the evening. I use SkyView Free, but there are many others.

Clear sky

New Orleans...
Level Contributor
620 posts
41 reviews
4. Re: Best place to view the night sky

"Depending on where exactly you are staying in W Sedona, you may have perfect views right from/very near your hotel or B&B."

I was about to ask a similar question for my trip Dec. 6 - 8. Regarding hotel options in Sedona, is there a particular hotel that would be ideal for viewing from your room's balcony? I understand that the stars can be seen from everywhere but would love to be able have great viewing from my hotel. Is there a hotel that have a viewing deck? Thanks.

North Carolina
Level Contributor
1,795 posts
7 reviews
5. Re: Best place to view the night sky

whitenights,

Actually, the stars and Milky Way are not seen equally well everywhere in Sedona. This a misconception. Sedona has a rather prominent light dome over the central area of the Town. Best to refer to the Dark Sky Finder Light Pollution Map for dark sky location near Sedona. An area for example between Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek when looking East has dark sky. The best time to be at this location is in the spring and summer when the Milky Way arches from the East over the red rock. The OP is here in October and is going to be looking at meteors, ISS and planets so being near or within the light dome will be OK. You can still see the stars within the light dome of Sedona it is just not as brilliant of an experience as if you ventured outside the light dome. Also, for many coming from really light polluted areas even near downtown Sedona may be a "spectacular view" for them.

Minneapolis
Level Contributor
280 posts
44 reviews
6. Re: Best place to view the night sky

Thank you for all the helpful suggestions, especially SwimFan2012. I have an app on my phone which I downloaded in anticipation of this trip. Can't wait to see the night sky!

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