An International Dark Sky City, Sedona has virtually no light pollution, a high altitude and more than 300 clear nights per year. These characteristics make the surrounding area ideal for group stargazing.
“We are pleased to offer a personalized and custom astronomy experience,” said Cliff Ochser, president of Evening Sky Tours/Sedona Star Gazing. “Our astronomers are exceptionally knowledgeable and provide groups with an educational and entertaining experience.”
Sedona Star Gazing’s dark-sky sites are just a 20-minute ride from the city. The tour includes an overview of the constellations, led by professional astronomers using high-power laser pointers.
“We’ll tell groups stories about how the ancient civilizations named the con- stellations and how they are used,” Ochser said. “We then give an up-close view of a minimum of six objects through one of our powerful telescopes.”
Not all objects are visible on every night, but groups are currently viewing star clusters, Saturn, galaxies, double stars, shooting stars, Earth’s moon, satellite passes, red super giant stars and planetary nebula.
There is no more than 12 people per astronomer and telescope, so group members are assured a personal experi- ence. Tours last about 90 minutes, and reservations can be made through the company’s website.
Sedona temperatures typically drop by 20 degrees within a few hours after sunset; gloves and warm hats are highly recommended from November through March. The company can provide adult parka jackets, blankets and chairs. The observing site is on a grass soccer field, so participants should wear flat shoes.
“We hope our guests see things they have never seen before and gain a new appreciation for the night sky,” Ochser said.
For more information, call 866-701-0398 or visit eveningskytours.com.