On Night 14 of the #TheGreatMilkyWayChase, we visit Crater Lake National Park in Oregon!
Long-live Crater Lake as being the most amazing clear sky you can find for Milky Way Photography!
While there are MANY similarly dark sky locations in Utah, you just don’t get above the dust and debris in the air. And that changes the clarity, ever so slightly, but it definitely improves it.
Last year when Brendon saw the Milky Way here he couldn’t keep himself from exclaiming how this must be the darkest dark sky site he has been to. I kept correcting him that we have been in several dark sky locations even better than this. So what was the big difference at Crater Lake? Why does the core look more brilliant to the natural eye than it does at a crazy dark site like Natural Bridges National Monument or Escalante National Monument in Southern Utah?
The elevation and conditions of the area! Crater Lake can be windy, but the air here can be super clean and crisp. The rim at Crater Lake is anywhere from about 7000 to 8000 feet above sea level depending on where you are on it. Places in Bryce Canyon like Fairyland Point are above 8000 feet! But the skies at Bryce Canyon are subject to the dust of the desert area that lie around it. And it doesn’t RISE UP out of the dust the way that the caldera of Crater Lake does.
This is just my guess. But it seems a plausible reason for the added clarity to the lower contrast areas of the Milky Way Core that we see at Crater Lake compared to what we seem to get standing on the swell that is the Colorado plateau.
Today’s Guests –
Night 15 we return to Crater Lake for the second of two nights at one of the BEST CLEAR, DARK skies in North America for capturing the Milky Way!
Upcoming Milky Way Workshops
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