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Dark-Sky Sites:

Saskatchewan

 

 

  Sites: 



Town:  Cypress Hills
 
Observing site: Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

Address:  Canadian Route 21, Cypress Hills, SK

Mailing address:  Box 850, Maple Creek, SK, CANADA S0N 1N0

Park office phone number: (306) 662-5411

Contact person (for observing info): Vance Petriew

Telephone number: (306) 565-3086

URL: http://www.ras.sk.ca/lpc/dsp/dsp.htm and http://www.cypresshills.com

Restrictions:  Park fees during the summer months.

Directions:  Cypress Hills Central Block lies on Canadian Route 21, about 40 km (25 miles) south of Maple Creek.  Maple Creek is found about 10 km (6 miles) south of Canadian Route 1, about 138 km (85 miles) west of Swift Current, SK.  To get to Cypress Hills West Block, head southwest on Canadian Route 271 for about 66 km (41 miles).  Check the map here for exact directions.

Current weather:  

How are the sky conditions?  One of the best observing sites in Canada due to its elevation and lack of mosquitoes.  200+ clear nights a year.  Exceptional nights have a limiting magnitude of 7.5 and one keen-eyed observer reported a naked-eye limiting magnitude of 8.4.

 
Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:
     At the zenith: 7
     East: 7
     West: 7
     North: 7
     South: 7

Best horizon (direction and approximate altitude cut-off): All horizons visible from the Meadows Campground in Cypress Hills Centre Block. Horizons may vary depending on what part of the park you're in.

Worst horizon (direction and approximate altitude cut-off): Horizons may vary depending on what part of the park you're in.

Comments from contributor:  Cypress Hills Dark-Sky Preserve is made up of 4 parks: Cypress Hills AB - West Block, Cypress Hills SK - West Block, Cypress Hills SK - Centre Block and Fort Walsh National Historic Site.  Together, these parks form the largest dark-sky preserve in North America at 39,600 ha (97,800 acres).  Cypress Hills Centre Block is the home of the annual Saskatchewan Summer Star Party held every year during the new moon weekend in August.  Professional astronomers have considered this site when looking for a place to erect large telescopes.

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