Autumn is crucially the best time of year to pull out the old telescope, and ponder into the darkened skies. With early evenings drawing in quickly and that calmingly cozy fall breeze in the air, why would you spend your nights any other way than gazing up at the stars! Our universe is blessed with a breathtaking array of stars, constellations and planets, which are visible on clear nights, particularly in places that are not burdened with the modern issue of light pollution. Take a trip to remember this season, by adventuring to any one of these global stargazing hotspots, to catch a glimpse of what your own backyard likely fails to offer you.
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Mount Megantic, Quebec, Canada
Learn about a whole new world of stars with the in-depth guided information this heavenly Canadian national park offers you. Take your time melting into the universe that completely envelops you in the Observatory tower, at the highest point of the mountain, allowing you to get a firsthand glimpse at the stars above. Feel inspired by the location of this gorgeous national park, where during autumn in particular, it flourishes in fall foliage. Spend the weekend camping under the endless dark sky that is simply bursting with stars, that governs your entire line of vision.
Galloway Forest Park, Scotland
Feel a wave of inspiration by visiting this forest paradise in the autumn time that doubles up as a stargazer’s haven in the depth of the night. Head to the park’s hotspot, that is Loch Trool, to view the image of perfection – an endless sky of stars reflecting off of the deep blue lake, glistening like thousands of diamonds. The sparse population of this national park creates feelings of total solitude that are completed by the rustic sounds of nature and the cool autumn breeze. Galloway Forest Park has been awarded the status of one of the only 4 Dark Sky Parks in the western world, making it a Mecca for stargazers across the globe.
Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania, USA
Experience an astronomical 360 degree panoramic view of this renowned dark sky hotspot. Cherry Springs is given its name due to its sheltering nature of tall, powerful cherry trees that envelop the 262,000 acre forest. The park is shielded from any modern day distractions, and is kept largely away from any form of light pollution, with its rustic feel and wildlife qualities. In the day, you can enjoy hikes around the glorious natural location, and when it gets to night time, you can see over 10,000 stars and their constellations, merely from the naked eye alone. On a truly dark night, you can witness the Milky Way being so bright, that it actually casts shadows upon the earth.
Atacama Desert, Chile
This remote part of the world offers barren landscapes and rolling sandy horizons that continue as far as the eye can see. There are next to no clouds, and the earth consumes less than an inch of rain each year, making this a place of pure isolation from everything – apart from spectacular night skies, that is. The Atacama Desert is an absolute paradise for astronomers, due to its clear skies and all around panoramic views; the skies can be so dark, that the stars that govern it appear to be sharp and piercing to the naked eye. Spend a night to remember, lounging under this blissful desert scenery, with the whole world, literally revolving around you.
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand
This reserve is in fact the world’s largest, beholding a near 100% light-pollution free status. The demanding 4300sq KM area is enveloped by alpine landscapes with the Southern Alps in the west and the two thumb range in the east. Become part of the Tekapo Starlight, which provides a guided tour of the night sky and a plentiful education into the mechanics of the immense solar system that dominates our ginormous universe. Alternatively, you could engage in the Star Gazing Tour, which allows you to receive a unique experience. Discover the hidden treasures of our universe through the means of experienced tour guides that thrive in the field of astronomy, and through a firsthand look at the never ending sky itself.
Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, Ireland
Located in the southwest corner of Ireland, breathtakingly astronomical sights can be experienced through the sheer naked eye. Ireland’s natural beauty is truly heightened, when the sun sets, and the night’s secret are revealed. Witness an orchestra of stars, that aren’t on the majority of typical sky maps, in a way that nowhere else can top. Hire an experienced astronomer to help guide you through different paths of learning about ancient stories and constellations that this majestic sky offers. Moonlight walks and talk are at your advantage, allowing you to discover the raw fascination of the moon and sun that is frequently forgotten.
Make a wish upon a star, or two, this autumn, by heading across the globe to meet the universe that surrounds you, in a way that is too majestic to fathom into words. Feel truly star-struck and a feeling of awe rush over you, as you ponder life in and beyond the universe we know and cherish. Make it a weekend away to remember.
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family, so they too can discover the secrets of the universe’s night time sky.