The Night Sky at the Painted Pony Resort

As previously noted (here and here) a group of astronomers from Canada spent a week at the Painted Pony Resort taking advantage of the clear, light free night skies in the San Simon valley.  After looking at the photographs that were captured during the week long star party, especially this one by John McDonald, it was clear that some new images of PPR were necessary to highlight the night skies here in the valley.  Not being an astro-photographer and only owning a camera from Walmart it seemed impossible to create anything close to John's work.  But after a couple of months of work the first results are finally in.  It required reprogramming the camera and a number of failed attempts before anything useful was produced.  Below are 2 examples of merged images using photographs taken on the property.  These images are not a true reflection of reality since they each are composed of two images.  It was not possible to capture both the night sky and the facility with the same exposure so 2 images were merged.  The night sky was photographed at f2.8, 15 second exposure, with an ISO 1600 using a Canon Power Shot SX110 equipped with CHDK.  The images were processed in GIMP and merged using the same software.

Painted Pony Resort

Main house at night

The next task is to create the video of the night sky rotating over the Painted Pony Resort.


  1. What great photography you have done at the Painted Pony Resort. It sure is amazing the night sky there is in the San Simon Valley.

  2. Thank you, and yes we have some of the darkest skies in the lower 48. I guess that is why all the amateur astronomers have set up shop in the boot heel. I'm just trying to illustrate the point with these photographic compositions.