A List of Simple Steps to the Best Stargazing Conditions

Stargazing is nothing related to the big organizations and institutes only, it is something many people wish to do far and often. The main idea behind stargazing is looking continuously at the stars during the night for the peace and comfort of mind.

stargazing at easter island, one of the best stargazing conditions spot in the world

The wish for stargazing can be aroused to anybody at any time and anyplace.

We would all like to gaze at the stars while lying outside or on the roof.

When talking about where to begin, the main question that arises in mind is about the best stargazing conditions and spots for it. Undoubtedly, there are particular weather, atmosphere and environmental conditions that can make stargazing amazing or can even spoil the whole experience.

These conditions, spots and steps are discussed below.

Best Conditions for Stargazing

  • Best stargazing can be achieved only when the night is dark and dry, the sky is clear and there is no haze. Moreover, the environment should be pollution free. The speed of winds should also be low.

Prior information about these conditions can be gained by regional weather forecasting website or service. You can use such websites and put your area code to get best weather conditions for stargazing.

  • The moonlight plays an important role to make stargazing interesting.Winter moon - image via wikimedia

The bright moon can give such a scattered light that it can obscure the stars to make the experience interesting. On the other hand, the late rising moon or an early setting moon can make the stargazing experience unlikely.

Even in the presence of the moon, many planets and meteor can be seen.

Informations about the moon can also be obtained from meteorological department’s website.

  • Light Pollution that is the excessively obtrusive artificial light can make the stargazing experience worse. Such light pollution has nothing to do with the moonlight; in fact, this is the artificial light that is contributed by humans. It is a sort of over illumination that can serve in the discomfort of stargazer. Check out IDA if you want to know more.
  • Another thing that contributes to the best stargazing condition is the suitable location. Stargazing can be done from anywhere at any time of the night as long as the sky is dark and clear with little scattering of light. Places away from the city can be darker and hence more suitable for stargazing. Remember:

the higher the spot is, the better your stargazing experience will be.

  • Best stargazing can be achieved when the individual is comfortable from within. Most of the time, the nights on the roof and outdoor are too cold. Such cold weather or nights can come in the way of peaceful and interesting stargazing.

Therefore, unless weather it’s hot enough, it is recommended to wear a coat, a hat and other warm clothes before going for stargazing. Such prior planning and preparation can make you stargaze comfortably.

  • Body position is also a factor. A person can simply opt for turning his head directly up to the sky for long time. This is a fine arrangement, but lying this way for too long is unsuitable for your neck, as it will soon cause neck ache. If this happens, the most suitable arrangement is to lie straight, with the head up looking at the sky.
  • When gazing at stars, care must be taken to overcome atmospheric perturbation. Atmospheric perturbation can be seen in images of stars due to the turbulence of Earth’s Atmosphere. Anyway it can be avoided by employing many techniques or by using suitable telescopes. It can represent a serious issue for meteorological departments, but common stargazers should not worry about it.

stargazing at the beach

Moreover, other suitable conditions can be:

  • Sit on a chair and place your sleeping bag across your chair, then gaze at the sky.
  • On the roof, you can use a mat to lie down with some cushions and a blanket.
  • When you are sitting and gazing, it is necessary to keep your legs straight as it maintains the blood flow proper.

Best Spots for Stargazing

Researches shows that there are various ideal spots in the world for stargazing. Here’s a list of some of the most discussed:

the desert at night, one of the places with best conditions for stargazing
  • The Atacama desert in Chile
  • Tuscany in Italy
  • Hawaii
  • Kruger National Park in South Africa
  • Yangtze River valley in China
  • Kiruna in Sweden
  • La Fortuna in Costa Rica
  • The Caribbean Sea
  • Los Angeles
  • New Mexico

If you’re on a small budget and you still want to make the best out of your experience, you can easily find suitable stargazing spots near your place. The ideal place might be something worth a long trip, it happens. But suitable stargazing spots can also be found:

  • Downtown in the citySuitable for few types of Planets and Stars,
  • Small cities and suburb areasAppropriate for Five Constellations,
  • Rural AreasSuitable for Milky Way.

Guide for Stargazing Preparation

Here is a short guide that can help you make the stargazing experience an everlasting experience:

  • Plan before you start stargazing – Do weather search and find appropriate day and place,
  • Use a virtual planetarium software to get an idea about what to expect,
  • It is also necessary to ensure that your decided place has no light pollution,
  • Make arrangements according to the weather – keep warm clothes, etc.,
  • You can ask and invite your friends/family to join and accompany you in stargazing,
  • Keep with you a mat, cushion, blanket, folding chair, a watch and your telescope – Be comfortable! ,
  • Turn your phone to silent mode for a more peaceful experience and not lose your focus.

This guide has been created with final user – you – in mind, with the intent to provide a comprehensive document answering all beginner questions about best stargazing conditions. I hope it will be useful to you.

Now just get to your desired location and start stargazing!

Image Credits: 1, 2a, 2b, 2, 3.

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