Stargazing Far From Home
What is a stargazing tour? Simply put, it’s a trip, arranged by a travel company, with the primary purpose of observing the night sky from a remote location that’s not infested with bright lights. A stargazing trip connects you with the universe—nature on a grand scale. For many, there is great pleasure in simply standing beneath a dark, crystal-clear night sky, gazing up and out into the cosmos. Far from city lights, the heavens glow with a light show of its own, a show highlighted by the naked-eye spectacle of the Milky Way.
With stargazing, there is no need to rush; it’s a very tranquil pastime. Given the hectic pace of modern life, it’s extremely pleasant to be able to just kick back, relax, and connect with the universe—and with yourself. You’ll also connect with other, like-minded travelers who share your interest in the night sky.
During the day, and throughout the course of the trip, there are a variety of non-stargazing activities to participate in and numerous sights to see. Most dark-sky regions are in interesting areas that are well worth exploring during the day. Some stargazing tours stay at a dark-sky site for several days, visiting nearby areas of interest either before, or after, a number of evenings of observing. Other tours move more frequently from site to site but usually with at least two evenings set aside for stargazing.
Perhaps the best thing about a stargazing tour is that you don’t need to know anything about the starry sky; just have a curiosity about what’s overhead at night. There is always an astronomer along on these trips to help guide you through the cosmos during the evening and answer astronomy questions during the day. Often there’s a telescope at the observing site, and binoculars are good for both terrestrial and celestial sights.