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  • The best stargazing spots in the world

    I firmly believe that stargazing is one of the oldest hobbies in the world. Stars have been a source of fascination for humans for millenia, and after a while we even discovered how to make use of them (in navigation, for example), but simply gaping at them remained a favorite past-time for many.

    For stargazing, you don’t necessarily need materials, only good eyesight (of course, a fancy telescope does help). Just grab a star chart and find a good place to stargaze. Here’s our list of the best stargazing spots in the world.

    Atacama Desert, Chile

    Atacama is the highest desert in the world, and when it comes to stargazing, the higher the better. There are several observatories which offer tours, but if you want to keep the experience personal, you can just find a random place and still be rewarded with the clearest skies on the planet.

    Hotel Elqui Domos caters specifically for amateur astronomers: the rooms have detachable domes, so you can watch the sky from your bed.

    Southern Africa

    The southern regions of Africa are excellent for stargazing because the population is relatively sparse and pollution levels are quite low. There are several observatories that offer tours (for example the South African Astronomical Observatory). If you ask me, the sand dunes of Namibia are one of the best places for stargazing in Africa, and you can just find a hotel nearby and bring your own equipment.

    Scotland, UK

    The darkest skies in Europe can be seen in Scotland, and on rare occasions you can even see the Northern Lights. There are even dark sky parks in Scotland where you’ll be guaranteed to have a great view of the stars, or if you want something more organized, the Endinburgh Royal Observatory can offer tours.

    Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

    Many amateur astronomers swear that Cherry Springs Park is the best place to view the stars, because you won’t be bothered by any planes coming and going, and besides, you can see the nucleus of the Milky Way Galaxy. There’s even a designated stargazing field on top of the mountain, offering a ull view of the sky from every direction.

    Wiruna, New South Wales, Australia

    The local astronomy society in Wiruna owns a 100 acre area, dedicated to the art of stargazing. You can simply camp there and observe the skies in peace, or you can book accommodation, use the observation facilities and even attend the South Pacific Star Party, a yearly event for stargazing addicts.

    Connemara, Ireland

    The skies in Connemara are pitch black, because there are not city lights to distract you. Most of Ireland’s amateur stargazers flock to Connemara, which is no surprise, considering that the place is absolutely amazing. Book accommodation at a nice little inn, spend the night stargazing and the day visiting the most beautiful place in Ireland.

    Mauna Kea, Hawaii

    Even professional astronomers swear by Mauna Kea, and the stars can be seen so well in this place that you’ll have no trouble looking at them even with the naked eye. The Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center offers free stargazing tours, and according to them,  2800 stars can be distinguished without a telescope.

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