Visiting deep space through video astronomy


Bright Star Observatory was established during the early 1990’s as the Night Watch Observatory. As of August 2014, the Special Use Permit was transferred to Richard Sandler, the current owner. Bright Star is adjacent to the aircraft parking ramp of the Blue Canyon/Nyack airport, located in the Tahoe National Forest at an elevation of approximately 5,300 feet. The coordinates of the observatory are:  N39° 16’ 26.6”, W120° 42’ 31.4”.

Operated by Placer County in Northern California, the airport’s purpose is to support firefighting activities. Private aircraft use the airport for landing, overnight storage, and takeoff weather permitting and during daylight hours.

SUPs were granted by the United States Forestry Service to each of the owner/operators of the three other observatories. Bright Star Observatory is located at the far south extreme of the parking area.

With a life-long interest in astronomy, Richard Sandler, is fulfilling his passion through video astronomy. During his regular visits to the site he captures Deep Space Objects (DSO) like galaxies and nebulas and operates his equipment semi-automatically under computer control. From time to time guests are invited to his site to explore the universe.

In addition, Bright Star often hosts Star Parties as the location affords excellent dark skies and a large macadam area to erect telescope equipment. As many as 75 telescopes have been at the location during star parties.

Visit this site frequently for informational links and star party updates. Richard can be contacted by email at Richard@brightstarobservatory.com.



Author: Bright Star Observatory, N39° 16’ 26.6”, W120° 42’ 31.4”.

Richard Sandler is a retired business owner who has a passion for imaging Deep Sky Objects (DSO) of the vast universe. His background in technical research and development of aircraft and space born avionics has lead him to this hobby in retirement.

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