Staring out into a sky full of stars accounts for one of the best feelings in the world. But, thanks to the adoption of the modern lifestyle around the world, this bewitching sight is limited to only a certain number of places. While the urbane locations only give you access to about 500 stars, these beautiful locales around the world give you a chance to witness as many as 15,000 individual pinpricks of light without any aid!
So take along your blanket and hold that one hand, as we take you to the best stargazing places around the planet:
1. Atacama Desert, Chile
Earning its name on the top of the list, this 600 mile stretch of northern Chile presents you with the ideal stargazing conditions including high altitude, unpolluted skies and the driest (non-polar) air on Earth, resulting in one of the most ethereal stargazing experiences from the Earth. One of the most proud possessions of desert is the ALMA Observatory, the residing place of the world’s most powerful radio telescope using a total of 66 satellite antennae that continuously look into the outer space. If you are, however, looking for a more personal experience, Elqui Domos is located right on the outskirts of the desert.
2. Trysil, Norway
Orchestrating the most beautiful show of lights in the world, Trysil is definitely on the bucket list of every travel-enthusiast. On the eastern end of the paradise, you will be welcomed by empyrean swirls of colour and the best site for the skiing and hiking trails, earning it the title of the best outdoor destination. Complete with its deep forest, wild rivers and tempting mountains, Trysil also provides the best star gazing opportunities, thanks to its unsullied environment. One of the best ways to witness that is to hire and stay in one of the stargazing cabins and gawk at the lights spring to life against an inky night, plotted with limitless constellations.
3. Mauna Kea, Hawaii
Also known as Mauna O Wakea, Mauna Kea is the base for the University of Hawai’i (UH) that began the observation of the immediate universe and beyond. The Big Island is also fabled to have an interesting back story and is named to be the first born child of Sky and Earth, making it a bridge that connects the land to the heavens. One of the best ways to witness this beautiful slice of nature is to plan up and coordination with the famous tour companies, thus getting a chance to climb up the peak and take a tour with detailed narratives on the history by well informed tour guides.
4. Tenerife, Canary Islands
What can be better than spending a night alone with nature, sans any human attraction? Profuse with high altitude, distance from tropical storms, and close proximity to the Equator, the remote region of the Canary Islands placed off the mainland Morocco, offers its visitors some of the clearest and darkest skies. Another fact advocating in its favour is that Tenerife, the largest island in the region, has a flight control law which guides their paths in a way that doesn’t disturb the stargazing conditions.
5. Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand
Home to the world’s largest dark-sky reserve sitting on its high country plateau called the Mackenzie Basin, New Zealand makes it name to list providing you the most paradisiacal experience in the world! One of the best tours in the guide is the Earth &Sky’s nighttime tour of Mt. John Observatory, giving the chance for the observers to witness Magellanic Clouds, the satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, which are only observed from the southern hemisphere.
6. Jasper National Park, Canada
Roads slice their way through spruce and pine forests, ultimately leading you the regal Canadian Rocks, Japer National Park in the maple region. However, unlike the other parks, this one will give you better sights with the sun down. One of the best things to attend in the region for the star enthusiasts is the Dark Sky Festival which gives you a chance to experience daytime solar viewings, basic launches of rockets for the young audience and elaborate telescope workshops.
7. Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania
Though Pennsylvania is neither far flung nor isolated, but the year 2014 witnessed the superlunary northern lights in the region. Originally observed in the high latitude regions, the phenomenon was spotted a whopping four times in the Cherry Springs State Park. Other than that, the clear ground and the pollution free skies provide ideal conditions for the stargazers.
Out of all the destinations in the world that give you a window into the star-studded sky hidden by the layers of pollutions, you have never truly seen the extraterritorial if your list doesn’t coincide with ours! So set your itinerary to bring taare zameen par!