Seeing stars: Stargaze Tahoe offers virtual night sky tour

Cheyanne Neuffer

If you tune in ...

What: Virtual Stargazing Tour

When: 9-9:45 p.m. Thursday, May 21

Where: Zoom

Tickets: $9.99


Calling all stargazers for a virtual experience into Tahoe’s night sky.

Tune in from 9 to 9:45 p.m. Thursday, May 21, to tour the night skies with Stargaze Tahoe.

Tahoe resident Ashlen Clemens will lead the online experience and will share age-old stories about constellations.

The stargazing tour delves into the depths of astronomy and ancient mythology.

Stargaze Tahoe usually holds in-person tours that take place at Skylandia beach in Tahoe City and offers group and private tours using a telescope. Clemens guides people through the constellations, correlating mythology and even offers hot chocolate to the guests.

Stargaze Tahoe also does weddings, date-night specials and private events.

Due to coronavirus, Stargaze Tahoe has had to adapt by shifting tours to an online platform. This online tour will be available to anyone with a good view of the night sky.

This backyard tour is perfect for date night, with the family or by yourself.

Many of the constellations have stories and mythologies intertwined with them.

“We’ve been using the night sky to pass on stories for thousands of years,” said Clemens.

Clemens is a lifelong stargazer who found her passion for astronomy in high school. She used to work retail for a resort and would lead tours for hotel guests at the beach and she loved it.

“I loved sharing this knowledge with people,” she said.

Clemens started her own stand-alone business, Stargaze Tahoe, where she helps people explore the expansive universe and our connection to it. Along with tours, Clemens also practices astrology where she sees clients one-on-one.

Clemens said they are looking forward to opening soon. Even before COVID-19, people are spread out and everything is kept clean and safe during the tours, she said.

Stargaze Tahoe also has a Revolution Imager which is a camera that shows people in real-time exactly what’s being seen through the telescope lens. This helps so people don’t have to look directly through the same lens.

“We now have new technology to keep moving forward,” she said.

The date of the virtual tour is close to the new moon for darker skies. Darker skies mean better stargazing.

“We should also be able to see Venus, Mercury and possibly even the International Space Station in the western sky that night so there’s also a lot to check out,” said Clemens.

While all the constellations in this tour can be seen with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope give you a more upclose image. Stargaze Tahoe will also provide a list of fun objects to find yourself for the month.

For those unable to tune in at the exact time, Stargaze Tahoe offers a recording of the tour that will be available for a couple weeks. After signing up, registrants receive an email invite with a link to join the meeting in Zoom.

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