Astronomy EssentialsHuman World

Stargazing destinations: Alberta

Check out this first episode of the Chasing Darkness video series, a stargazing destination guide by astrophotographer Jack Fusco and adventure photographer Jeff Bartlett.

The duo plans to release five episodes with locations in North America selected for their incredible stargazing opportunities, some of which are easy-to-reach location near major cities and others far-flung bucket-list destinations.

For this episode, filmed in Alberta, Canada, in December 2017 and January 2018, the team drove nearly 6,000 miles (10,000 km) across Alberta to photograph the province’s five dark sky preserves and its international dark sky park.

Starry sky, snowy mountains, black water with stars reflected in it.
View larger. | Jasper National Park Dark-Sky Preserve, Alberta’s first dark sky preserve. Image via Jack Fusco

Although visiting during the winter brought its own challenges, the team said it turned out to be the ultimate season to visit. Longer nights meant more opportunity to see and photograph the night sky. The lack of crowds made it easier, too, as they felt they had each area to themselves. But, winter also meant colder temperatures, especially in Wood Buffalo National Park and Lakeland Provincial Park. While filming these two dark sky preserves, the temperatures rarely rose above -22 degrees F (-30 degrees C). While it was easy to stay warm, they said, either in cross country ski warming shelters or their vehicle, it wasn’t easy to operate camera gear.

There’s more info about this episode, plus gorgeous still photos, here.

Here’s more about the Chasing Darkness project.

Bottom line: Video of stargazing locations across Alberta, Canada.

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Astronomy Essentials

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