Published on January 28, 2018 | by Juliet Woodward


8 Travel Destinations for an Astronomy Geek

Due to heavy pollution and unsuitable weather conditions, it is not possible for a sky lover or astronomy geek to fully enjoy the clear view of the beautiful sunsets and starry nights. Therefore, if you are travelling this year, you must add the places listed below to your bucket list. The following destinations are famous for the clearest skies and ideal weather conditions for sky-viewing. Plus, they have the best telescopes, planetariums and observatories that every astronomy lover dreams of visiting. So, read through and thank me later!

The Royal Observatory, London

Did you know that the only planetarium you can find in London is at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich? It building stands on the land where the kings once lived in the era of William I. Therefore, the building says a lot about the history as well and if you are into both astronomy and history, it may be the best spot for you. Plus, you will also find a museum there along with the planetarium.

The Atacama Desert in Chile

The most ideal place as per the weather condition, Atacama Desert offers the clearest view of the majestic skies and beyond. The Paranal Observatory present at the mountains of Cerro Paranal has one of the largest telescopes through which you can look into the space. The best part is that they offer free tours on each Saturday. All you need to do is get your room reserved.

Hayden Planetarium in New York

We all know how polluted and industrialized New York is and the weather hardly ever allows you to see the clear skies. However, if you are on a trip to New York and the weather is in your favor, do not forget to head straight to Hayden Planetarium. The planetarium offers great opportunity for stargazing and shows for space lovers. All you need to do is pay $20 to get in and you are all free to go to the Museum inside it as well.

Mauna Kea in Hawaii

This one is a must-visit spot for all astronomy lovers because it offers the most ideal weather conditions, height and sight for viewing the true majesty of the limitless skies and glittering stars. Mauna Kea is around 13,500 feet above the ground and has got the observatory where there are large telescopes for sky-viewing. However, you might want to check the weather forecast before you leave for the observatory to be on the safe side.

Kitt Peak National Observatory

The Southwest of America has the most ideal weather conditions for stargazing. The Kitt Peak National Observatory present in Arizona has got a huge collection of optical telescopes. They offer guided tours daily at a certain time. If you want to enjoy the night sky, the good news is that they also provide nighttime stargazing opportunities. You can take your partner or your friends for an exciting experience there.

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

Los Angeles surely does not have the perfect stargazing conditions. However, it does offer the opportunity to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. The observatory is much more than just looking into the space and observing the stars. It tells us about the history of Los Angeles. The observatory was taken up as a donation by the city in 1896. The location has been used for a play in the past as well. Therefore, if you are a patriotic citizen, a history freak or an astronomy lover, this observatory is a must-visit destination for you.

Astronomical Observatory in Sutherland, South Africa

This observatory is probably the best one you can find with great opportunities to tour the facilities and look through the telescopes. It is about 6000 feet above the ground which makes it ideal for stargazing purposes. It offers guided tours to the public for a little fee. Plus, nighttime stargazing opportunity is also available on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
They let you see the stars through the 16” diameter’s telescopes which is probably a dream of every astronomy lover to use and look through. Therefore, if you are heading towards South Africa, you have got to add it to your bucket list and I bet you will not regret the visit.

Teide National Park in Spain

Teide National Park has one of the darkest and clearest night skies for the most ideal sky view. Plus, it has one of the most advanced observatories in the world which offers guided tours for which you have to get your space reserved. The park also conducts a festival of Starmus every year that is like a combination of art, culture and science. Therefore, if you are an art or nature lover, Teide National Park can serve you the best!

About the Author

Juliet Woodward is a member of a Student Astronomical Society, an avid reader, and a science lover. She is an unapologetic astronomy geek with a keen interest in new technology and gadgets for looking into space.

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