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  • Jun 18 2024
  • Jun 19 2024
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Exploring the Night Sky: Stargazing with Dennis Young

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night sky filled with stars and the milky way over the Sedona red rocks

As the sun sets over the red rocks each night, don’t be disappointed, as an extraordinary celestial sight is about the be revealed. Stargazing during your time in Sedona is unlike any other night sky experience and as says best, “odds are you haven’t seen stars this bright in quite some time. Our (strong) rec: Get a good look while you can.”

Sedona is recognized as one of 26 International Dark Sky Communities in the United States, and has followed strict guidelines to meet these requirements. The city spent almost 10 years ensuring that the quality of the night sky was up to par so locals and visitors alike can appreciate the sight above. 

One of the unmatched guest experiences at L’Auberge de Sedona is the stargazing experience on the property every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday night year-round. This experience is led by astronomer Dennis Young. Dennis has been a resident of Sedona for 35 years and yearns to share his passion for stargazing with others. He is a professional astronomer and accomplished photo artist with an abundance of knowledge of the night sky. 

Denis continues to share his excitement of the stars with us:

How did you get into stargazing as a profession?

This is all that I do and is my hobby turned profession, so my passion is very real when giving each presentation. I did hundreds of shows last year alone and every  one of them still excites me!

How long have you been running Star Tours in Sedona?

I am the longest-standing stargazing company in Sedona with over 35 years in the business, and 50 years of experience in stargazing. I also have the largest scope for viewing in Sedona and the surrounding area. It is even more powerful than the famous Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, which discovered Pluto and helped with extensive amounts of research on Mars.

What will I be able to see when I stargaze with you?

There are plenty of celestial objects to see, including exploding stars, galaxies, planets, interstellar gas clouds, galactic star clusters, the moon, and more. These Celestial objects are all reachable with my top-notch scope. This is where my telescope shines, it is designed to show the celestial objects in all their beauty, including color. During the presentation, constellations are pointed out, and celestial events are made known.

Tell us more about the equipment that you use for stargazing here in Sedona.

I use my giant home-built telescope for the main part of the presentation. It is has a 28-inch diameter mirror and is nine feet tall! This scope has gone through over 500 hours of polishing with elite glass delivered from Russia by a professional Optician with over 35 years of experience in telescope production. My scope has been with me through it all and has upgraded and enhanced a lot since being built over 26 years ago. I also have extensive accessories for enhanced viewing, ultra-widefield binoculars we use for scanning the milky way, giant custom-built 6-inch diameter binoculars, and even night vision equipment for stunning views of the heavens to compliment the show.


If you’re still on the fence, don’t take our word for it, here’s what some past guests had to say:

“The stargazing experience was one of the highlights of the stay- so much better than I could have ever imagined.”  saj5771

“Also, be sure to join Dennis for the stargazing party!”  disancke

“The stargazing event was a great plus! Their house astronomer is patient, knowledgeable, engaging and his telescope is of amazing quality.”  Vegas_Leigh

“The hotel offers stargazing a couple of nights a week with a real astronomer who has an amazing telescope that lets you see deep into the galaxy. I saw a view of Jupiter and some of its moons I’ll never forget.” HudsonTG 

“BONUS stargazing experience was the most passionate and private lesson you’ll ever have for FREE!”  Timothy Z 

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