With one of the longest camping seasons in the Idaho Parks system, Bruneau Dunes State Park offers ample stargazing and camping opportunities throughout the year. Of particular interest is the Bruneau Dunes State Park Observatory, which hosts a 25-inch (64 cm) Newtonian reflecting telescope in addition to other large telescopes, although binocular and naked-eye viewing are also encouraged. The observatory sits in a beautiful, dark-sky location with pristine skies which rate at class 2 in the Bortle scale, located only about an hour from the state’s capital, Boise. Weather permitting, the observatory is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights—with the exception of 3-day holiday weekends—from late March through mid-October. A friend of EarthSky shared the following: “One of the only good places to stargaze in Idaho. There is nothing to block your vision, and there is an observatory at the park as well.”
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.