One of the most incredible things to do when camping is to gaze up at the night sky. This bit of stargazing is something most of us rarely have time to do in our busy lives, and the short excursion from the driveway to the front door doesn’t give much more than a glimpse of the stars above. It’s only when we are outdoors, in a contemplative mood, that the stars seem so much closer.
- 7 Best stargazing destinations in the world
- 4 Useful Tips for the Novice Stargazer
- Apps for stargazing (Free & Paid)
- Final Thoughts
7 Best stargazing destinations in the world
If you are a stargazing lover you are in luck. There are several stargazing spots around the world.
Listed below are the most popular stargazing ones:
#1 – The Himalayas Asia
Home to most of the Earth’s highest peaks including Mount Everest, the Himalayas are a mountain range in Asia with some amazing views, o say the least, and while Everest is suffering an over-tourism crisis in 2019 with dozens of mountains and towering elevations across various countries.
There are plenty of options to set up camp to watch the stars including India’s Spiti valley or the Coati Pass.
Be sure to avoid monsoon season from May to October when heavy rains plagued that area and make unsafe trekking conditions.
#2 La Palma Canary Islands
A popular spot for Astro tourists Spain’s La Palma island off the coast of northwestern Africa is a UNESCO biosphere reserve and boasts wondrously dark skies.
Tenerife the largest island of the archipelago and a star-studded hotspot, has even passed a lot to ensure flight paths don’t affect stargazing.
The islands also offer a variety of tours from Sun observations, to stargazing, to wine and moon tours.
Feel free to set up your own telescope or visit the Gran Telescopio Canarias the biggest telescope in the world. With so many options it’s hard not to become enraptured by the constellations.
#3 Death Valley USA
Though relatively close to both Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the light pollution from these cities certainly doesn’t affect the night sky in Death Valley. This famously arid region is one of the best spots in America, to view a lunar eclipse or a meteor shower, and has been designated as the largest dark sky National Park in the US by the International dark-sky Association.
Between November and April, Park Rangers and astronomy organizations hold all manner of stargazing events. one such event is the star party at the ranch a great option for those wanting a quick weekend getaway or a mantic evening under the stars.
#4 US national parks
It ain’t just Death Valley, numerous other national parks across America have amazing views of the Stars. Most of them are far enough away from the light pollution of large cities but are still fairly easily accessible from large urban centers.
In Yellowstone National Park, stretching across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, visitors don’t even necessarily need a telescope, as the stars come out in full view on a clear night.
The Badlands in South Dakota offers a night sky program where Rangers point out constellation’s stars and planets, and visitors are allowed to take a closer look through park provided telescopes. Big Bend in Texas has less light pollution out of all the other national parks. On a clear night, stargazers can see approximately 2000 stars.
#5 Western Australian outback
The vast landscape of the Western Australian outback provides night skies for stargazers looking to see the constellations in the southern hemisphere. Its remoteness ensures incredibly dark skies, with no light pollution to obstruct the view.
A good thing to start is to drive about an hour and a half north of Perth on the west coast to explore the stars shining on the peaks of dunes at Lancelin.
Head a bit further to National Park and into the vast desert to take amazing pictures of the limestone pinnacles pointing up towards the starlit sky.
Fueling extra adventurous head further into the interior and camp out under the canopy of the night sky.
#6 Mauna Kea Hawaii
At over 13,000 feet above sea level, Mauna Kea is an inactive volcano that hasn’t erupted for over 4,000 years. Let’s hope it stays that way. It offers a great height to enjoy a truly clear night of stargazing, but if you go be sure to take your time while hiking up to avoid mountain sickness, as the atmospheric pressure is significantly lower than sea level.
Home to one of the largest optical telescopes in the world and amazing sunsets, it’s only worth the climb.
Not a fan of heights? no worries, simply find a spot along the beach to gaze up at the Milky Way.
#7 Atacama Desert Chile
With dry air, no light pollution, and a high altitude the stunning Atacama Desert in Chile offers the perfect conditions for gazing at the stars in the southern hemisphere. It only gets the barest sprinkling of rain over the course of a year so you’re almost guaranteed a cloudless sky for an unobstructed view of the Stars.
Frequented by astronomers and Astro tourists alike this region is essentially a public observatory and provides amazing views of nebulae, the moon, the rings of Saturn, or even a different galaxy far away.
The ama is a fantastic place to immerse yourself in the constellations, just be sure not to go when there’s a full moon for the perfect dark sky experience.
4 Useful Tips for the Novice Stargazer
Taking a moment to marvel at the stars in the night sky is a remarkable experience. But it can be hard to fully appreciate what you see when everything is so far away.
There are many steps you have to take to make your stargazing experience much more enjoyable. So, Let’s take a closer look at some of the most helpful tips:
#1 Where to watch
The stars are easily appreciated in the landscape or the city. But it will always benefit to have a high viewing platform to stop buildings or LED streetlights from hurting your view. Make sure to find a spot that is mostly dark and clear of any light source.
Streetlights can decrease your ability to see in low-light conditions which means the stars won’t be so clear in the sky.
#2 Use stargazing binoculars
Rather than invest in high-tech tools including a telescope, you can just start your stargazing experience with a decent set of binoculars.
Even though the binoculars cannot give you the high magnification of a telescope, but they are still a perfect improvement on using the naked-eye. Also, it isn’t so expensive. There are plenty of low-cost binoculars that make it possible to see the craters on the moon.
Best stargazing binoculars
- Skygenius 10×50 Binoculars.
- Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars.
- Celestron Skymaster 15×70 Binoculars.
- Orion Giant View 25×100 Astronomy Binoculars
Also, a telescope can be used later when you have a basic knowledge of the night’s objects, including the constellations or planets. Beyond searching for the most well-known stars, there is also the possibility to look for other things like the International Space Station.
#3 Best time to look
The most recommended time for stargazing is on the cold and crisp nights when the sky is mostly clear. Any night with the not present is ideal.
The full moon can light the sky too much and make it hard to see the best of the stars. The views on summer nights are likely to be less clear because of the buildup of blur and haze which will impact the view of the stars. Also, it will be helpful if there is no or low humidity.
#4 Use a star chart
No matter what you are a beginner or an expert, a star chart is a great way to learn the shape and size of the different stars in the sky, and there are several chart apps to download on your phone.
Otherwise, many apps can help recognize the stars, which are perfect for those that prefer to use modern technology.
Apps for stargazing (Free & Paid)
If you are interested in astronomy, here is our list of best apps for stargazing
- Sky View Lite: Available on both Android and iOS systems at no cost
- Star Walk 2: Available on both Android and iOS, but it’s free for Android users and $3 for iOS users.
- Star Chart: Available on both Android and iOS systems at no cost
- Night Sky Lite: Available For free on IOS.
- Sky Safari: Available on both Android and iOS, but it’s also free for Android users and $3 for iOS users.
- NASA app: Available on both Android and iOS systems at no cost
- Star Rover: Cost $2 and available on both IOS and Android.
- Stellarium Mobile Sky Map: Cost $4 and available on both Android and IOS.
- Pocket Universe: Available for $3 and IOS users only.
- Solar Walk: Available on both Android and iOS, and it cost $3 for Android users and $8 for iOS users.
- Sky Wiki: Available only for Android users at no cost.
- Sky Map: This app is also available only for Android users at no cost.
- SkEye: This app is also available only for Android users at no cost.
- Star and Planet Finder: This app is available on IOS only, and it’s freemium (If you want more features you have to pay).
- Redshift Sky Pro: Cost $9 and available on both Android and IOS.
- GoSkyWatch Planetarium: Available on iTunes and is only for the iPad.
Stargazing is an amazing adventure that dates back thousands of years. It gave birth to astronomy, a natural science interested in the study of celestial objects and everything linked to the evening sky. So many people across the world have fun and enjoy looking up at the heavens, and some even do it as a full-time job.
While the most beautiful view is possible only by using costly telescopes and other specific gear like binoculars. Also, you may still appreciate this experience with your bare eyes as well.