North is to ~ the left.
This image shows
the Milky Way rising over Monument Valley. It is centered on
the constellation Sagittarius, with Scorpius at the left edge of
large rock. The galactic center is slightly below and to the right
of the image's center.
Although the sky is very dark at Monument Valley, time exposures
easily reveal the glow of distant population areas. The brightest
area appears to be Gallup, New Mexico, with Farmington to the left.
About The View Hotel
The hotel is a Navajo owned business located within the Navajo
Nation and the Navajo Tribal park at Monument Valley. Although the
rooms and restaurant are OK, you are really paying for the view and
it is spectacular. Every room looks directly to the valley.
Since the hotel is on the Navajo reservation, the restaurant serves
only non-alcoholic beer and wine. You will have to bring your own
and keep it in your room.
They state that WiFi is only available in the hotel lobby. We were
located in room 313, one-third the way
down the hotel, and had a good WiFi connection.
From The Rooms
There are two classes of rooms on the top floor... Star View and
Premium Star View. Unfortunately they did not consult with any
astrophotographers when designing the hotel. The hotel is oriented
about 17 degrees east of north. The Star View rooms have about a
two-foot wide balcony, with the view cut off at the zenith.
Therefore, the North Star is not visible and there is no chance to
use a polar alignment scope. The balcony, for the Premium Star View
rooms, extends out about two or three feet further and may provide a
view of the North Star. This wider balcony also allows the use of a
larger camera/scope tripod.
Late May and early June provide the best opportunity to photograph
the galactic center above the valley. Although you can get a great
shot from the hotel, the best compositions are from the valley
floor. The road is easily passable by day with a mini-van or SUV. It
is obviously more difficult at night. At 11:30 PM, I witnessed cars