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Summer Is Stargazing Season At Angel Fire Resort

May 17, 2021

There are countless reasons why New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment. Some might think it’s due to our beautiful desert and mountain landscapes, and they wouldn’t be wrong. However, many don’t realize how much enchantment is to be discovered off the ground. Home to some of the darkest night skies in the country, New Mexico offers some of the highest quality stargazing you’ll find anywhere in the world. 

The Name “Angel Fire” Comes from Above

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Photo Credit: Mike Hawkins

While our charming village is only a few decades old, the Angel Fire area encompasses a rich tradition inherited from the Moache Utes.

Centuries ago, Franciscan friars coming to New Mexico met this tribe of indigenous people who described sunrise and sunset as the “fire of the gods.” The church officials interpreted this as “the place of the fire of the angel.” The description is apt, as sunrise and sunset here in Angel Fire are truly sights to behold.

Today, people flock to our four-season, family-friendly Rocky Mountain resort to enjoy the many recreational options available, including activities for the growing astrotourism crowd. Our location in New Mexico’s Moreno Valley offers ideal sky-watching conditions due to our high altitude, low population densities, dry climate, clean air, and statewide laws to protect our dark skies. 

Angel Fire Resort: The Ideal Location for Astrotourists

Some of the most impressive constellations and other galactic marvels are visible here on Earth during June, July, and August. Luckily, that coincides with optimal weather conditions — dry, clear, and free of light pollution — for stargazing here at Angel Fire Resort. 

Whether you’re looking up with the naked eye or through a telescope, you’ll be blown away by what you can see in the heavens above our mountain. Even better, several spots listed on the New Mexico True Dark Skies Trail are just a quick road trip away from our Resort. 

What To Watch For: Sunsets And Constellations

Booking a stay at Angel Fire Resort during the summer means seizing a rare opportunity to make some stellar memories. Before visiting, download a stargazing app or an interactive guide to the constellations. Doing so will help you get your bearings and deepen your appreciation for the night lights on display.

It all starts at sunset. Bold red and oranges set the sky aflame as the day winds down, creating otherworldly vistas. Grab yourself a cold beverage from The Lift Café and cool off as the evening paints the sky in deep blues and purples — you won’t regret it. 

Once darkness has settled, you’ll be able to pick out iconic star formations such as:

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Photo Credit: Mike Hawkins

  • Hercules (in June, looking to the northeast)
  • Gemini, including the twin stars Castor and Pollux (June; W/NW)
  • Centaurus (June; S/SE)
  • Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (July, August; N/NW)
  • Pegasus (July, August; E)
  • Scorpius (July, August; S/SW)
  • The Lagoon Nebula (July, August; S)

More amazement awaits as the skies grow darker still. That’s when The Milky Way begins to glow most brightly. Humankind has spent millennia studying and celebrating this hazy band of lights, which ancient cultures described as a river, a backbone, and a path. In actuality, we’re looking from the inside of our own galaxy out toward the edge of its vast disk. 

More Spectacular Light Shows: Shooting Stars

Summertime is also the season for meteor showers. From a location as dark, dry, and clear as ours, you may be able to view up to 75 meteors an hour!

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Photo Credit: Mike Hawkins

Between July 12 and August 23, 2021, the Southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower will be visible in the southern night sky at Angel Fire Resort. Astronomers expect activity to peak between July 28 and July 29. 

The Perseids begin streaking through the night sky on July 17, 2021, and should continue their show through August 26, 2021. Look for August 11 or 12 to be exceptionally brilliant evenings. This meteor shower occurs near the Perseus constellation, also visible when gazing northeast from Angel Fire Resort. 

Stargaze Away At Angel Fire Resort

There’s nothing like escaping to the Land of Enchantment to relax, recreate, and enjoy the wonders of the night sky — and beyond. At Angel Fire Resort, we’re happy to provide those interested in stargazing and similar activities with recommendations for getting the most out of their visit with us. 

Whether you’re traveling between New Mexico Dark Sky Trail destinations or spending your entire vacation with us, we can accommodate individuals and full family parties visiting Angel Fire for the night sky views. Make memories with a family star party at Angel Fire Resort. Book now! 

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