The Stars

Forget deep in the heart of Texas, The stars at night are big and brightest in the Big Bend area. The parks are designated dark sky areas in Texas and the area is home to the McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains.

There is a saying “Half the park is after dark”. Noted for one of the darkest areas in the continental United States, there is nothing more moving than staring at the stars in Big Bend. You will see things you have never seen before as billions of stars become visible to you. If you look long enough you will certainly see falling stars. You will also notice very dim stars that seem to move across the sky. These are satellites. And of course the Milky Way is prominently displayed.

Pro-Tip: It takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark and reveal all the hidden stars you normally cannot see until your pupils are properly dilated. If you look at your phone or a light – BAM – it’s over, you’ll have to readjust. Use a red LED light to keep your night vision. Red light will not interfere with your night vision and does not dilate your pupils.  You can also turn your iPhone screen red with this article, Keep your Night Vision Sharp.

How Big Bend Ranch State Park Earned Its Dark Sky Designation – by Texas Monthly

These photo was taken just outside Marathon Motel, McDonald Observatory, and Ten Bits Ranch. These are mine, don’t steal them else I’ll tell.

Milky Way astrophotography big bend
Andrameda Glaxy astrophotography big bend
milky way over mcdonald observatory davis mountains