Archive for March 16th, 2007

Davis Mountains State Park – The Night Sky

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

June Hershey, who in 1941 penned the lyrics of the well-loved song, Deep in the Heart of Texas, must have been inspired by a nighttime visit to the Trans Pecos region for her first verse.

The stars at night are big and bright (Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!) Deep in the heart of Texas….

Once you experience the deep, velvety blackness of the West Texas night sky, studded with a profusion of luminous stars, you’ll come away thinking….

The stars are unbelievable.

David Bischofhausen manages Davis Mountains State Park. He says that in West Texas, dark skies are the law.

There is a dark sky policy in town. You have to have restrictions on lights and such.

Poorly directed outdoor lighting interferes with our ability to see stars clearly. And dark skies are crucial to the park’s neighbor – the McDonald Observatory.

From the park headquarters you can see McDonald Observatory. It’s about thirteen miles away. They built the observatory here because some of the darkest skies in North America are right here. And I’ve seen a picture McDonald observatory did on a slide show of the United States at night. You can definitely tell where Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth are…and then you look over here, and there’s this big black spot where Big Bend and Davis Mountains are. And it’s just unbelievable.

Learn more about Davis Mountain State Park.

That’s our show for today…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.