Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, NV -- September 28, 2019
Occasionally, I've dropped in the visitor center. There's a picture they sell in there of Comet Hale-Bopp, over Red Rock. So after seeing that, I thought it would be nice to try to get my own shots of the night sky over Red Rock. But there's a problem: The main area of the park (around the 13 mile scenic drive) is almost entirely closed by dark. Listed operating hours for the scenic drive are:
Nov – Feb – 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM
March – 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Apr – Sep – 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Oct – 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Late last March, I made a visit and got some decent pictures of the winter constellations.
In late September, I made my try at catching the setting Milky Way. The best of my catches is at the top of this post.
I also got some pretty dramatic clouds.
Even after astronomical twilight, the whole of metropolitan Clark County is right behind you when you shoot Red Rock, so the sky never really gets dark, any more. Not nearly as dark as back in the 1990s, when I also saw Hale-Bopp and Hyukatake, back in the 1990s. But the city lights do light up the red rocks nicely, and you can definitely still make out some Milky Way from Red Rock, despite the burgeoning population of the Las Vegas area over the past twenty years.