Amazing places to Stargaze - part 1

Star gazing is undoubtedly one of the most profound activities to do in your lifetime. Weather you do it alone or with someone you love, looking at the dark canvas with thousands of sparkling diamonds on it certainly lends you a lot of perspective toward life. While there is a whole universe out there to embrace you in a lifetime of cosmic explorations and surprises, mentioned here are some of the places where you can witness the stars in their absolute beauty, without any hindrance. 1.Atacama Desert, Chile Northern Chile desert, with practically no rainfall, zero light pollution and clear skies have been one of the most sought after locations in the world for stargazing. With the opportunity to camp under the spectacular view of the bright stars and also visit astronomical observation sites like the Paranal Observatory—home to one of the largest telescopes in the world, this has been on top of the bucket list for many stargazing enthusiasts. 2. Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA Another breath-taking spot surrounded with high inactive volcanic peaks is a dream destination for many. Visitors are permitted to hike till nearly 14,000 high summit. The Mauna Kea Observatories, one of the most famous in the world, are located here. 3. Tuscany, Italy What better place than Tuscany to stargaze, where Galileo Galilei developed his telescope in 17th century and igniting a revolution in astronomy. Beyond the historical context, it is rated as one of the best place on Earth to view the night sky, because of its valleys and accessible hills. Apart from stars, it is a great spot to observe Jupiter’s satellites, Moon’s craters and sunspots. 4. NamibRand International Dark Sky Reserve, Namibia How about combining wildlife safari and stargazing? NamibRand nature reserve located in the southern African nation of Namibia is the place to be. One of Africa’s largest private nature reserves is also the darkest, yet accessible, location on earth. During clear nights, Milky Way, two smaller neighbouring galaxies, the Southern Cross and Scorpio, are among other spectacular sights viewed. 5. Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand One of the most popular stargazing locations on Earth, Lake Tekapo - a world heritage night sky reserve - belongs to Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park region famed for its near-primeval dark sky. It has an observatory, a lovely astro-cafe and many astro-tourism companies. 6. Cherry Springs State Park. 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. 7. 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. 8.  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! 9. 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. 10. Natural Bridges National Monument. 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. 11. SAAO, Cape Town. 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.