Top 10 Best Places for Stargazing

Top 10 Best Places for Stargazing

If you never leave the city, you can rarely admire the night sky. Thousands of professional and amateur astronomers hunt for places that provide a glimpse to space. The main criteria are no light pollution (which is unavoidable in the cities), clear sky and preferably high altitude. See our choices: some places are really remote, while others can be located in your neighborhood.

10. Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania, USA

The park, highly regarded by the stargazers, provides a striking glimpse to the nucleus of the Milky Way. The observations are made from the top of the 701 m (2300 ft) high mountain, where a 360° panoramic views, free from light pollution or electrical lines, open.

Why to go there?

The park offers public programs and various events like the Perseids Meteor Shower in August. You can also find a lot of useful information on the official site.

Top 10 Stars-Cherry-Photo by PhotoshopAddict89

Photo by PhotoshopAddict89

Top 10 Stars-Cherry2

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Stars-Cherry

Photo by Unknown

9. Connemara, Ireland

One of the most western parts in Europe is famous for its unspoiled nature and historical heritage. Also it is a great place to go watching stars, since the skies here are clear from urban lights. Therefore a lot of amateur astronomers visit Connemara, which also provides numerous accommodation opportunities at some small adorable village.

Why to go there?

Connemara is absolutely stunning and there is plenty to see and do during the day. But also it provides a clear night sky, that can be observed from various impressive sites.

Top 10 Stars-Ireland-Photo by George Karbus

Photo by George Karbus

Top 10 Stars-Ireland-Photo by Conor Ledwith

Photo by Conor Ledwith

Top 10 Stars-Ireland-Photo by Tristan Kelly

Photo by Tristan Kelly

8. Wiruna, New South Wales, Australia

There is an area surrounded with eucalyptus and designated specifically for the stargazers. Each year astronomers and star lovers gather to South Pacific Star Party. Here professionals and amateurs exchange information, talk about their passion and of course watch the sky. The red lights that you see in the pictures do not blind therefore eyes can momentarily adjust to the darkness and enjoy the night sky.

Why to go there?

The astronomy society owns the land and also provides the observation facilities as well as accommodation. Sign up for the next South Pacific Star Party, which will take place from 14th to 17th May, 2015.

Top 10 Stars-Wiruna-Photo by Matt Weller

Photo by Matt Weller

Top 10 Stars-Wiruna

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Stars-Wiruna-Photo by Ian Parr

Photo by Ian Parr

7. Tenerife, Spain

The island is known for its pristine beaches and busy nightlife. However it is also considered to be one of the best places to go stargazing in Europe. Teide National Park in particular is great: it has received “Starlight Tourist Destination” and “Starlight Reserve” awards for low light pollution and wonderful conditions. Just look at that Zodiacal Light – a triangular glow rising in the sky!

Why to go there?

The is a restaurant on the mountain. Get there by Teide cable car and admire the sunset and night sky, while having a romantic and delicious dinner.

Top 10 Stars-Tenerife-Photo by Daniel Lopez

Photo by Daniel Lopez

Top 10 Stars-Tenerife-Photo by Cestomano

Photo by Cestomano

Top 10 Stars-Tenerife

Photo by Unknown

6. Scotland

The country is said to have the darkest skies in the continent. Since it is the northernmost part of the UK, even Aurora Borealis can be spotted occasionally. The Royal Observatory of Edinburgh provides professional tours and public astronomy evenings. Moreover there are dark sky parks all over the country, where you can enjoy starry skies with your own equipment.

Why to go there?

You can find dark sky and various facilities as well as spots to admire the stars in Scotland. The Royal Observatory is open for groups and individuals. The sessions are very popular so make sure to book in advance.

Top 10 Stars-Scotland

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Stars-Scotland-Photo by Stewart Watt

Photo by Stewart Watt

Top 10 Stars-Scotland-Photo by Alex Nail

Photo by Alex Nail

5. Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah, USA

During the day it is a wonderful site, full of natural rock wonders: arcs, bridges, weird formations. During the night a whole other scene above opens: the Milky Way and its distinct form is clearly visible. Also Zodiacal Light is very bright here.

Why to go there?

The study has shown this park to be the darkest one in USA – a truly great place to go watch the stars! Astronomically it is rated a Bortle class 2 sky.

Top 10 Stars-Natural Bridges

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Stars-Natural Bridges-Photo by David Blevins

Photo by David Blevins

4. SAAO, Cape Town, South Africa

A place where famous Crux constellation can be observed. Also an interesting fact: South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the oldest permanent building in Cape Town! Scientists and guides take visitors on tours, telling them about space, telescopes and lead through the museums.

Why to go there?

The observatory welcomes visitors and even has open nights throughout the year, when scientists tell interesting stories about the universe. SAAO is open to visit on the second and fourth Saturday of every month at 8 PM.

Top 10 Stars-SAAO

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Stars-SAAO-Photo by  PFLM and DW

Photo by PFLM and DW

Top 10 Stars-SAAO-Photo by JPK

Photo by JPK

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Photo by Unknown

3. Tuscany, Italy

One of the most beautiful places in the country, where valleys and villas dominate the landscapes, while historic architecture in the cities attracts millions of visitors. This is also a place where in the 17th century Galileo Galilei has developed his telescope, igniting a revolution in astronomy. Tuscany is a great spot to view the Moon’s craters, sunspots and Jupiter’s satellites.

Why to go there?

Tuscany is rated as one of the best places on Earth to view the night sky. Far from the city lights, in the valleys, on the top of the hills, amateur astronomers set their equipment and admire the spectacular universe.

Top 10 Stars-Tuscany

Photo by Daniel Korzhonov

2. Atacama Desert, Chile

One of the driest places on Earth receives a millimeter of rain each year, thus providing wonderful conditions for stargazing. Clear sky, zero light pollution and high altitude ensure a sharp glimpse into the Southern Hemisphere. Paranal Observatory is proud of owning one of the largest telescopes in the world.

Why to go there?

Various astronomy tours take visitors to the desert and provide interesting trips, led by experienced guides.

Top 10 Stars-Atacama-Photo by Nicholas Buer

Photo by Nicholas Buer

Top 10 Stars-Atacama

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Stars-Atacama2

Photo by Unknown

1. Hawaii

Not only the island group is a perfect holiday destination for sun-bathers, surfers and volcano lovers. The sky above is so clear from light pollution that watching stars is a real treat for your eyes. The Mauna Kea Observatories are located at 4205 m (13 796 ft) altitude and are one of the most famous in the world: a lot of discoveries have been made here.

Why to go there?

The visitors are offered a number of guided tours, that include a ride to the Observatory, mountain and even a dinner!

Top 10 Stars-Hawaii-Photo by Mauna Kea Observatory

Photo by Mauna Kea Observatory

Top 10 Stars-Hawaii

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Stars-Hawaii2

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Stars-Hawaii3

Photo by Unknown