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A couple of weeks ago, in the post about Haleakala, I promised I would put up some images of constellations that I took from the rim of the volcano.  This is one of them:  Ursa Major, aka The Big Dipper.

These are a few of the places I’ve been on this planet where I’ve been able to see amazing night skies, devoid of light pollution and air pollution, which stand out in my memory:

  • somewhere in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between California and Hawaii.  I did a sailing race and was treated to two weeks of amazing stargazing.  The 0200-0500 watch (in every other respect torturous) was the best for this.
  • The Australian countryside.  I’ve never been to the true Outback (called the Never-Never in Aussie slang) but it’s on my Bucket List, if for no other reason than spectacular stargazing.
  • Haleakala, on Maui, and Mauna Kea, on The Big Island, both volcanoes in the state of Hawai’i
  • The deserts in Southeastern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada
  • The Andes in Peru
  • The desert in Baja (Mexico)
  • The high Sierras (California)
There are many more places on my astronomic Bucket List I have yet to visit.  For example:
  • Anywhere I can see the Northern Lights (I’ve never seen them.)
  • Anywhere I can see a total eclipse of the sun (I’ve seen many partials, but never a total.)
  • The Himalayas
  • Africa
  • Anywhere on earth far enough from urban areas where there is no light pollution to dim the splendor of the night sky.
  • Outer Space (I’m hoping it becomes affordable in my lifetime!)

Here’s another well-known constellation:  Orion, aka The Hunter.  Contrast this shot of Orion with the one in yesterday’s post that was taken in Agoura Hills (Los Angeles County).  The difference is dramatic.  Which sky would you rather see at night?



  1. nice! big dipper is my favorite one! you should go someday to finland to see the northern lights 🙂

    • Hi Maria,

      Thank you. I was just out shooting Orion this evening! I love the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and the fact that if you can find it and therefore The North Star (Polaris) it’s easy to get oriented.

      I have yet to see the Northern Lights, although it’s on my every-lengthening “Bucket List.” I hear Fairbanks (AK) is pretty reliable, but I’m not adverse to going to Finland either. Anywhere the air is clear and the skies are dark in the northern latitudes would be just fine by me.

      Do you have a favorite viewing area that you can recommend?

      RPRT Photo

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