Night Sky Photo by Ryan O’Hara
There are few things that can compare to the beauty of a starry night. Star gazing is a great way to soak up Mother Nature and unwind from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. Here are a few tips to help make the most of your star gazing experience.
Where to go:
Pick a location that will give you minimal glare from artificial light and a maximum view of the sky. Consider visiting a local park or, if you’re able, head to a Dark Sky Preserve
for a truly unique star gazing experience. In Canada, we’re lucky to be home to fourteen of these designated sites, which are natural spaces kept free of artificial light in order to promote astronomy and minimize light pollution. Some of these preserves, including Fathom Five National Marine Park
, host guided night hikes where you can experience the breathtaking beauty of the night sky with fellow nature lovers.
What to bring: The great thing about star gazing is you don’t need any special gear or information to get started. Stars, constellations and meteor showers are all visible to the naked eye. If you’d like to get a closer look, bring along a pair of binoculars or a telescope if you have one. A guide to the sky can be easily downloaded online or picked up at a local book store. Some smart phones even have an application that can help you navigate the sky once your location has been determined.
When to go: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and wait for an evening with a clear, moonless sky. Before you head out, check out this list of tips from Astronomy Magazine to make sure you get the most of your viewing experience. Don’t forget to pack a thermos of hot liquid, like tea or hot chocolate to keep you warm. Bundle up and enjoy your evening under the stars!