|Join Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley next Friday, April 20, at the Smokey Jack Observatory in Westcliffe for a special Star Party celebrating International Dark Sky Week.
The event will get underway at 8:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
In celebrating International Dark Sky Week, the Smokey Jack Observatory will be opened to view our pristine night skies through the lens of one of Colorado’s most powerful telescopes.
The Smokey Jack Observatory is located in The Bluff park at 115 S Adams Blvd., on the western edge of Westcliffe. It is named for the late philanthropist and Valley rancher Smokey Jack, who was instrumental in the formation of the local Dark Skies organization.
Current estimates state that only one percent of all Americans can see the Milky Way due to light pollution, regardless of the night sky conditions, according to the Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute. In the historic mountain towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, visitors can experience the night sky in the same unpolluted way as our ancestors, connecting to a deep ancient history of storytelling and mythology. Photographers, amateur/professional astronomers, and stargazers now come from across America and around the world to view the Wet Mountain Valley's phenomenal night sky.
Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the exceptional quality of the natural dark skies of the Wet Mountain Valley in Custer County, Colorado, by assisting the community with individual preservation efforts and by educational programs supporting observation, appreciation and preservation of the natural dark skies.