Starry Starry Nights

By day Cochise County basks in glorious sunshine, while at night it nestles under a cozy blanket of stars.

The extraordinary skies of Southern Arizona are the reason why so many astronomers choose to call this region home.

Spectacular stargazing opportunities are easy to find anywhere across the county – all you need to do is look up.

Need someone to guide you on your astronomical journey? Contact the Huachuca Astronomy Club of Southeastern Arizona for some expert advice.

This group of highly knowledgeable stargazers will enthusiastically take you on a virtual voyage of the galaxy at their public events held throughout the year, except during cloudy monsoon season.

We joined club members at Coronado National Memorial, located south of Sierra Vista, for their first stargazing party at this stellar viewing point.

Along the three-mile ascent to Montezuma Pass we enjoyed sweeping views of the San Pedro Valley, before catching an incredible sunset upon reaching the 6,575 feet scenic overlook.

Thanks to a cloudless sky and nothing more than a slight breeze, this unique event proved to be nothing short of mesmerizing.

Think you know what a starry, starry night looks like? Then think again.

The views from this vantage point by day are truly breathtaking, but the spectacle that awaited us once the glow of the sun’s rays had faded was, quite simply, captivating.

Viewing the night skies in the company of an enthusiast takes your stargazing experience to another level.

Club members willingly allow the public to view far away galaxies and celestial wonders through their impressive telescopes at these types of events – the sight of Jupiter’s moons or Saturn’s rings is unforgettable.

If you’ve never gazed upon the Milky Way before, then prepare to see one of the true wonders of our crystal clear skies.

Arching across the atmosphere, this celestial marvel will have you spellbound.

During the summer months you should be able to see the Milky Way just about anywhere across the county.

But for a truly memorable viewing, we recommend taking a ride out into the more rural areas of the region.

Consider heading to somewhere like Chiricahua National Monument or Cochise Stronghold, where the stargazing is second to none.

Here, the stars are shooting and the planets are shimmering like diamonds. But no matter where you choose to observe the night skies, your after dark experiences in Cochise County will be truly cosmic.

For more information about public viewing events see sidebar or visit www.hacastronomy.org