Stargazing in the Mountains of Southern New Mexico

September 10, 2013

“The stars at night, are big and bright…” You can probably finish that line, right? While Texas apparently has good visibility of the night sky according to an old song, we’d just as soon look at the night sky from our own backyards. Cloudcroft’s visibility is so great that you can see the Milky Way galaxy with the naked eye on most clear nights. It’s truly an amazing experience no matter how old you are.

"milky way" stars astronomy "New Mexico"Of course, if you see the night sky above Cloudcroft when you’re a little kid, it is the kind of sight that will stay with you your entire life. Visiting the mountains of southern New Mexico is a great fall vacation idea, and introducing your kids to the wonders of the heavens when they can actually see a dizzying array of constellations without the light pollution common to big cities is a wonderful part of heading to Cloudcroft. While telescopes are certainly useful and fun for kids to operate (once they learn to be careful with all those little knobs and such), the visibility in Cloudcroft makes them a nice option, rather than a necessity. However, a book on identifying the constellations or an iPad app for the same is definitely helpful.

Cloudcroft is full of fun things to do outdoors during the day, and at night, stargazing makes for a fascinating activity that truly captures one’s imagination. And who knows? If you and your kids spend the weekend in Cloudcroft, maybe one of them will point to that trip as the moment she knew she was going to have a career in science!