Chiricahua Sky Village is an astronomy complex in southern Arizona located 100 miles southeast of Tucson. The organizers have announced that they will be adding 20 new acres to the facility.
As they note in their announcement, “We are pleased to announce that Chiricahua Sky Village in southeast Arizona has entered into a contract to buy another 20 acres of land, giving us a total of 92 acres and access to the power grid. A reliable source of electricity will enable our current 44 members to build observatories and conduct remote imaging from anywhere in the world. Closing is scheduled for June 2nd.”
Chiricahua Sky Village is a project of a group of amateur astronomers in the Pacific Northwest who, several years ago, established a 30-acre dark sky site in eastern Washington known as the Goldendale Sky Village.
As the organizers note, “While eastern Washington has plenty of clear skies between May and October, the winter is a different story altogether and, in effect, the observing season is only six months long. In 2021 the members of GSV began to explore the possibility of establishing another similar sky village in southeastern Arizona where the skies are clearest in winter. This time, membership would be offered to astronomers throughout North America who also want to observe in winter but are thwarted from doing so on account of bad weather in their own home states.”
The eastern Washington based Goldendale Sky Village business plan was to create a combination of affordable private ownership and neighborhood clusters (small lots gathered around telescope fields) leading to a unique observing environment that looked and felt like a permanent star party.
The Chiricahua Sky Village follows that footprint and is organized as a legally independent LLC in Arizona. Its mission is to own, operate, and preserve a Bortle Class 1 site in Cochise County where skies are clearest in winter. An altitude of 4,700 ft, a latitude of 31°, and the absence of any smoke are all factors that will further contribute towards a breathtaking dark sky experience.
Participation in Chiricahua Sky Village is through purchasing shares in the organization. In exchange for each share, members receive one vote and the right to use a portion of the property for camping and astronomical activities. Shares become part of a member’s estate and can be passed down from generation to generation.
To learn more on how to participate in the Chiricahua Sky Village you can visit the organization’s website.
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