Spotlight on Cochise County Stargazing

Amateur astronomers can find a host of stargazing opportunities in southern Arizona because of Cochise County’s dark sky ordinances. They help reduce Astronomy photolight pollution, making the stars shine even brighter.

San Pedro Valley Observatory specializes in individualized experiences. The owners recently purchased new telescopes and upgraded the facilities. Guests can book a 2-hour session for up to 4 people with one of the observatory’s professional astronomers. They’ll get a tour of the night sky. Because each party has a dedicated telescope and a dedicated astronomer, they can have a unique experience exploring the heavens.

Patterson Observatory on the University of Arizona Sierra Vista campus houses a 20-inch telescope. Each month, the Huachuca Astronomy Club holds “star parties” to introduce visitors to the wonders of the night skies. The monthly Astronomy Night focuses on astronomy events and general education about space and the night sky. Individuals explore the night sky through telescopes, with club members assisting them to navigate the cosmos.

Astronomy events are held throughout the year at observatories and some lodging facilities. There's even an RV park in Benson that has an on-site observatory and a resident astronomer. To learn more and find links to these sites, visit our astronomy page.

More about dark skies
To view the earth's night skies, visit the Blue Marble website. You can search the site to see areas around the globe including Arizona. For more information on dark skies, visit the International Dark-Skies Association's website.