Why die rushing Area 51 on September 20th for free when you can pay to sit back and stargaze on January 3rd and 4th instead? The Eastern Sierra Observatory is hosting the Quadrantids Meteor Shower Party at the Death Valley Stargazing Camp - just west of the national park boundary under the dark skies of Panamint Valley - on the nights of January 3rd and 4th, 2020.
Spy your eyes on galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae through a huge 14” Meade telescope, relax in the hot tub underneath the Milky Way, kick back with a pair of binoculars in the stargazer lounge, and enjoy overnight accommodations in a spacey SHIFTPOD — the Eastern Sierra Observatory is up and running, and offers a truly unique stargazing experience!
Capturing astrophotography through a telescope - galaxies, star clusters, nebulae - is exhilarating and exciting, and nightscape composites using consecutively shot foregrounds and tracked skies can look amazingly rich in detail. But, as newer cameras produce higher quality images at higher ISOs, shooting stand-alone nighttime photography presents a simplicity that allows one to capture amazing scenes with ease, while also allowing plenty of time enjoy the moment in the flesh.
On February 12, 2019, I was able to capture the first Milky Way of the season. In the Northern Hemisphere, the galactic core (brightest part of the Milky Way) is behind the horizon during nighttime from late-fall to mid-winter. This is why people speak of a Milky Way “season” — mid-February through October when the galactic core is visible.