Dear Cloudy Nights Folks:
The 2019 Enchanted Skies Star Party will run near Magdalena, New Mexico, October 22-27. Additional information will appear on the ESSP website, www.enchantedskies.org, as we get closer to the date.
As in recent years, the event features dark-sky observing in the high-desert environment of Cibola National Forest, as well as lectures and tours of nearby facilities like the Very Large Array radio telescope and the Magdalena Ridge Observatory of New Mexico Tech. We are also discussing an optional extension to the event after October 27 near the remote village of Pie Town, New Mexico, especially for participants who have traveled a long way to enjoy dark and clear skies. Details of that additional opportunity will be posted as they develop.
A recent and especially beautiful article describing astronomy in Magdalena is in the February, 2019, issue of New Mexico's monthly magazine, Municipal Reporter, and is available at this link:
The astrophotography is by Dr. Robert Q. Fugate of Albuquerque, a pioneer of adaptive optics who was a speaker at the 2018 ESSP, and it was recorded just outside the village of Magdalena. (The cover shot, with unusual sky glow, was made during heavy smoke from a nearby forest fire, and the Fugate image attached to this post is heavily compressed.)
--John W. Briggs,
Vice President, Magdalena Astronomical Society, Inc.