At Summit Creek, we pride ourselves on having a tremendously unpolluted night sky—which, of course, lends itself to spectacular stargazing. In fact, the state of Utah ranks high on the list of the best places to put your eyes to the sky in America. Here, the lack of city lights and buildings on the property’s unique north-facing shelf of the Wasatch results in a noir atmosphere all year long. But, how and where exactly do you find the most pristine views of above? Stick to our guidelines and enter a world of wonder.
Set the Scene
The most important step you can take in finding the best night’s sky view is retreating to a dark, high spot that’s unspoiled by light. At Summit Creek, this is an easy task. Simply turn off the lights in your home and head out to the backyard; or, if you have a red flashlight in hand—which maintains dark adaption for nighttime viewing—make your way to the highest point in the backcountry.
Pinpoint the Constellations
Did you know that constellations differ amongst hemispheres and seasons? If not, there’s a great deal to learn about the night sky before heading outdoors. In Utah, the three most prominent summer constellations to keep your eye out for are Lyra, Cygnus and Hercules. If you want to get it right, either purchase a star chart or download an app to spot each system. Amongst the best apps, as suggested by astronomers, are Stellarium, Starwalk, Google Sky Map and Exoplanet. Remember—if it sparkles, it’s a star. If not, it’s a planet.
Open Your Eyes
This step has both literal and figurative meaning. The best thing you can do to stargaze is to use your imagination. Stay open-minded and let your mind wander. At the end of the day, there’s no need to use binoculars, a telescope or even an app. In fact, the greatest discovery is one you make on your own. Put your right brain to work and allow yourself to group stars into their own unique systems. You may even notice that Scorpius does, in actuality, look like a scorpion. When you put your left brain at ease, the experience will be far more enlightening.