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Stellar Performance: Stargazing at Jasper National Park

Author: Peter McMahon

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Jeff Bartlett@photojbartlett

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It’s midnight on the Icefields Parkway, and my only company is a light breeze. In the clear fall sky overhead, stars, planets and clouds of stellar gas are bright enough to reflect off the snow on the surrounding mountain peaks.

A brilliant geyser, the Milky Way erupts out of the tongue of the Athabasca Glacier. Here, on Alberta’s Highway 93 North, nature is stage-managing the ultimate light show. Like Hawaii and Chile before it, Canada has become a bucket-list destination for astronomy lovers. The country is now home to nearly half the world’s recognized dark-sky preserves—19 designated areas protected against urban light pollution. And Jasper National Park has more goods to lure stargazers than just about any other place on Earth.

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