Orion sets over Sulphur Mountain and the Banff Springs Hotel in this nightscape from last weekend, February 3.
This is where Banff National Park – indeed the Canadian National Parks system – started, with the founding of a protected enclave around the hot springs and then the hotel, operated at first by the Canadian Pacific Railway, to serve visiting tourists seeking cure-all remedies from the sulphur springs.
Orion and Sirius shine above the Banff landmark, lit, unfortunately, far too brightly by sodium vapour lights. One day the ethic espoused by commercial interests of conserving the environment will extend to the night sky. When we set up telescopes at the Hotel a couple of years ago in honour of Earth Hour, we had to physically cover some lights — they could not be turned off!
So while this shot shows some of the beauty of the night sky from a site like Banff, it also shows what anyone under the veil of all those lights misses. Half the environment of the mountains.
— Alan, February 10, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer