9 Tips on How to Choose the Best Stargazing Location
By Space Coast Daily // July 6, 2022
You’ve probably seen those pictures on Instagram of people looking up at the stars and thought to yourself, “Wow, I want to do that too!” Stargazing can be a really rewarding experience, but it’s important to choose the right location for it.
Here are 9 tips on how to choose the best stargazing location:
1. Decide what you want to see in the night sky.
Are you interested in seeing planets? Constellations? Shooting stars? Depending on what you want to see, you’ll need to find a location with little light pollution and a clear view of the sky.
2. Find a location with little light pollution
Light pollution is the brightening of the night sky from artificial light sources. It makes it difficult to see stars and other celestial objects. To find a location with little light pollution, you can use this Light Pollution Map.
Additional suggestions for finding the best stargazing location include:
■ Finding a location away from city lights
■ Checking for clear skies on weather websites
■ Visiting a dark sky park
3. Check for safety hazards like power lines and cell phone towers
You’ll want to make sure you’re not in any danger while you’re stargazing. Be sure to check for things like power lines and cell phone towers that could pose a safety hazard.
When you are choosing a place to sit, be sure to find an open area without any obstacles that could trip you up.
4. Make sure you have enough space
You don’t want to be cramped up while you’re trying to stargaze. Make sure you have enough space to set up your equipment.
You’ll want to bring:
■ A blanket or lawn chairs to sit in
■ Your stargazing equipment (telescope, binoculars, etc.)
■ An emergency radio
■ A red flashlight
■ Extra layers
5. Bring a red flashlight
A red flashlight is a flashlight that emits light at a wavelength of 630-680 nm. This type of flashlight is often used for stargazing because it doesn’t interfere with your ability to see the stars. It is good for reading maps, avoiding attracting bugs, seeing things in front of you, and in a pinch can even be used to signal others for help.
6. Be patient and give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness
It can take up to 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Once your eyes have adjusted, you’ll be able to see more stars and other celestial objects.
If you’re patient and give yourself time to adjust, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the night sky.
7. Be prepared for cold weather
If you’re stargazing in the winter, be sure to dress warmly. You may want to bring a blanket or sleeping bag to keep you warm.
8. Enjoy the view!
Once you’ve found the perfect location and you’re all set up, take a deep breath and enjoy the view. Stargazing can be a really rewarding experience, so take your time and savor the moment.
9. Don’t forget to take pictures!
If you want to remember your experience, be sure to take pictures or even shoot a video. With today’s technology, it’s easy to capture the beauty of the night sky.
Choosing the Right Telescope
Lastly, we need to talk about equipment.
When you are packing up your equipment, make sure that you have the right kind of telescope for the kind of stargazing you want to do. Some telescopes are better than others. The types of telescopes include:
1. Refractor telescopes
Refractor telescopes use lenses to bend and focus light. They are good for general stargazing and viewing planets and stars.
2. Reflector telescopes
Reflector telescopes use mirrors to collect and focus light. They are good for deep-sky objects, such as galaxies and nebulae.
3. Catadioptric telescopes
Catadioptric telescopes use a combination of lenses and mirrors to collect and focus light. They are good for general stargazing and for deep-sky objects.
4. Solar telescopes
Solar telescopes are specifically designed for viewing the sun. They should never be used to look at the sun without proper eye protection. For more information on choosing the right telescope for you, check out All Star Telescopes Canada for a more in-depth look at the types of telescopes available on the market.
Now that you know how to choose the best location and the right equipment, you’re ready to go stargazing! Just remember to be patient, give your eyes time to adjust, and enjoy the view.