Head to a ghost town near Death Valley with the Skyglow Project. Original caption:
SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM presents MOJAVE FORSAKEN – a timelapse journey through ghost towns of the Mojave Desert and the magnificent night skies there.
Flanking the infamous Death Valley to the north, west and east, once-booming mining towns of Bodie, Cerro Gordo and Rhyolite now sit in decay at mercy of the elements. In the late 19th century, as gold-hungry settlers overran the West, thousands of mining towns, some as numerous as 50,000 inhabitants, each with own Chinatown, numerous brothels and casinos, sprung up across the continent. However, as the gold and silver mines were exhausted, mining boom collapsed by the early 20th century, leaving these towns abandoned virtually overnight.
Today, Bodie, managed by National Park Service, Rhyolite, managed by Bureau of Land Management, and Cerro Gordo, managed by private owners, exist in a state of “controlled decay,” as the authorities protect the structures there from vandalism, but leave them exposed to scorching sun, vicious winds and freezing winter storms. At night, due to high elevation, clarity of the skies, and lack of sources of light pollution, these town give us a glimpse of the night sky as it would have been seen by inhabitants of these towns a century ago.
Note: The orange skies seen in the Bodie footage came from the August 2015 Walker Fire in Yosemite National Park.