Star-gazing. An ancient human tradition that never ceases to amaze those with the opportunity to do it. Marveling at the universe is a magical, bonding experience between friends & nature.
With Spring here & Summer approaching, we will be going over 9 practical tips to make the most of your star-gazing. Enjoy!
Elevation: Get HIGH!
Near a mountain? Climb it!
The higher you are, the less of an effect light pollution will have directly above you. The horizon may still be a bit polluted, but the area directly above you will become more & more pure.
Get a “Red Flashlight”
If you don’t have the money for a red flashlight, you can get red foil and put it over a normal flashlight.
Blue light, which is emitted from most every electronic, makes the pupils smaller making it harder to see properly in the dark.
If you want to be able to see more in the dark, having a red flashlight is the way to go. The red light will not affect your eyes as much, allowing you to enjoy more of the dark while also seeing.
Normal flashlights will prevent your ability to see properly in the dark. After turning the lights off, you will require an adjustment period for your lights to see in the dark again!
Avoid The Moon
Check a moon map, and go star-gazing when the moon is dark or not out.
The moon is lit up because it reflects light from the sun. While it’s not as bright as the sun, it still prevents many stars (and galaxies) from being seen.
Going out when the moon is out of the sky or completely dark is ideal. The stars will be much easier to see!
Check The Weather
You could do everything right, but a cloud in the sky will stop all of that.
Check the weather before going star-gazing. A cloud-free night is ideal.
Go During Low Humidity, Cold Air, Summer Night
Low humidity & cooler air allow the night sky to look better. We won’t go into the science of this, just know that the cooler summer nights will be better for star-gazing.
The summer is best if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere because you will have a better view of the milky way galaxy. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, this of course changes!
Turn Off Phones & Lights
It’s not a dark zone if your phone is on! Turn off phones, electronics, LEDs, and any type of non-natural light.
Unless you absolutely need it, avoid making a fire. All of these lights will force your eyes to adjust, and see less dark. In order to properly see the stars, it’s best to have your eyes adjusted to complete darkness.
Follow Ancient Traditions
A fun ancient tradition is to meditate eyes-closed at sunset until the night sky is perfectly visible.
Instead of slowly watching the night sky change, close your eyes at sunset. Keep your eyes closed, and don’t open them until the night sky is perfectly visible.
Closing your eyes while the stars aren’t out creates an imprint in your mind of “this is the sky.” When it suddenly changes a little while later, the beauty will overwhelm you much more!
Try out this ancient tradition and let us know what you think. 🙂
Find a Dark Zone
Light pollution has a stronger effect than you might realize. The key to avoiding light pollution is to find a “dark zone” on a map.
A simple Google Search will bring you to a map of the light pollution in the world. You will be surprised how far light pollution can extend!
Find somewhere completely off-the-grid for the best view of the night sky. A city 5 miles away will still have an effect on the night sky.
We hope you have an amazing 2018 and enjoy star-gazing as much as possible. Now get out there and enjoy the beautiful night sky. 🙂
-Wildlife x Team International