Ron Richey’s Starry Night and Milky Way Photographs to Behold: The Night When the Stars Spoke to Me
Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
One of the primary reasons for me to visit Jasper National Park recently was to witness the night sky during the annual weeklong Dark Sky Festival, which attracts visitors from around the world. Of course, you can watch the night sky on any day but the week of October 16, 2022 promised to be clear both during the day and night times. The temperatures too were forecast to be in their high teens or low twenty’s (Celcius). During my trip, I also visited sites in Banff and Jasper National Parks where thousands who were deemed to be “enemy aliens” during the 1st World War were interned for many years. You can read my touching piece HERE.
…. All those sunrises and sunsets — all the intricate miracle of sky colour, from dawn to dusk….then comes night — a night of stars. I look up at night and I know — I know the glory of the stars. It is then that the stars speak to us” — Aga Khan III
The island on the beautiful Pyramid Lake was one of the highly recommended locations to see the night sky. The moon was going to rise much later that night, past midnight. As darkness began to set on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, I could see stars begin to show and some planets making their strong presence felt. Then, in an hour, countless stars were lit up, the brightness of which I had never before witnessed. What a show! Even with my naked eyes, I was seeing thousands and thousands of stars across our beautiful universe and I could also see the Milky Way right above me, stretching across some 100,000 light years; the age of our beautiful galaxy, 13.61 billion years!
On observing the stars and while preparing this post for publication, the following quote by His Highness the Aga Khan III came into my mind: ” …. All those sunrises and sunsets – all the intricate miracle of sky colour, from dawn to dusk….then comes night – a night of stars. I look up at night and I know – I know the glory of the stars. It is then that the stars speak to us.” Indeed, the stars movingly spoke to me.
I happened to be standing on the bridge leading to the Pyramid Lake Island, next to a great Edmonton based nature photographer, Ron Richey, who explained to me the mysteries of our galaxy. I could also see magnified versions of the photos he was taking on his camera screen. They stunned me and at my request Ron has contributed the following piece with incredible photographs of the night sky that we were both witnesses to. I have nothing but admiration for Ron. He is graphic designer, fine artist and photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is fascinated by the beauty of nature from the tiniest creature to the vast expanse of the night skies. Enjoy Ron Richey’s photographs of the night sky, and in future pieces we hope to present more of his nature photos of lakes, rivers, forests and mountains, the sunrises and sunsets as well as the animals that roam Canada’s beautiful national parks.
STARRY NIGHT AND MILKY WAY AT PYRAMID LAKE AND ATHABASCA FALLS
Story and Photographs by RON RICHEY (Facebook)
(Special to Simergphotos)
Star clusters of all sizes sparkled and glittered from horizon to horizon while the planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn paraded across the eastern and southern sky. The unquestioned star of the show was the sublime Milky Way — Ron Richey on a starry night at Pyramid Lake, October 18, 2022.
Standing below a crystal clear dark sky with all the stars and the Milky Way shining brightly is a rare experience for a big-city dweller like me. Edmonton is one of those cities with terrible night sky viewing conditions. A stargazer has to travel quite a distance before the glow from the city and suburbs fades enough to see the dimmer stars and the Milky Way. While visiting last week, I was not prepared for the unparalleled splendor of the sky above Pyramid Lake just outside the Jasper town-site. Star clusters of all sizes sparkled and glittered from horizon to horizon while the planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn paraded across the eastern and southern sky. The unquestioned star of the show was the sublime Milky Way arcing from north-east to south-west. Dozens of star-struck people surrounded me gazing upward in awe at a spectacle few see in a lifetime. We all said the same thing; “Wow!”
Date posted: November 1, 2022.
Last updated: November 5, 2022 (formatting and photo rearrangement.)
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How fortunate you are to have witnessed such a spectacle! One feels very insignificant gazing at the grandeur of the skies at night. Thank you for sharing your photos and impressions. They truly transmit the uniqueness of the moment!
Time and again you have have tirelessly kept your admirers with such wonderful and
memorable postings in the last several months.
Your endeavours to keep us enlightened, both on Simerg and Barakha sites, is indeed a labour of love.
May all your efforts be rewarded with personal satisfaction. Your posts provide us with food for thought and
never ending intellectual curiosity.
May you remain blessed 😇