Most residents of the third largest country on the planet earth, America, have been looking out or down, but not up. Or potentially, not high up or, with purpose. The objects of human fascination are often found contained within the confines of the cozy home space, while binge-watching Netflix, or other live-streaming tv.
Above your focus lies numerous phenomenon, containing all the elements necessary for an incredible adventure. As the sunsets, and the darkness of the fall and winter season engulf you, the stargazing party begins.
Partying with the Cosmos
The simple act of stargazing offers an incredible view of the stars within the Milky Way, almost nightly. The feeling of being on an unending orbit around a yellow star, in the outer spiral arms of that galaxy, is exhilarating. The multitudes of stars can be seen, along with the Andromeda galaxy’s 400 million stars, on moonless nights, with the naked eye.
When you and your partner, family, or family, venture out, to leave the city lights behind, and view the sky from darker places, for a stargazing party, you are fully engaging in astro-tourism. Have this exciting festivity, safely.
Night driving, to destinations which offer stunning views of the constellations, meteor showers, and shooting stars, also provides a plethora of potential driving challenges. Going off road, or down infrequently traveled paths, to rural parks, and fields, for unobstructed views, can result in flat tires, or being stuck in mud. To be party ready, safely, be sure you’re properly insured. Freeway Auto Insurance encourages adventures, and offers full coverage that lets you venture on, road-concern-free.
A Star Seeker’s Guide to Night Sky Readiness
Party preparation for an evening of twinkling, star gazing, and heavenly exploration, requires a few key essentials. Location, weather, timing, the phases of the moon, must all be considered, to view as many stars, meteor showers, and constellations, as possible.
You will need the following party planning supplies:
- Binoculars for spotting sparkling, pointy orbs, the big dipper, and even space junk, burning in the sky.
- Folding camp chairs for observing this high above, celestial performance, in comfort.
- Digital or paper star charts, or maps, for all attendees.
- Red flashlights to help your eyes adjust to the darkness, (red cellophane, or red paper, placed over an ordinary flashlight, will work.
- A laser pointer, to focus everyone’s gaze on found objects.
- A tripod or portable telescope for magnified, hands on, viewing.
- Internet apps which are compatible with your android, or iPhone These apps, like Google Sky, let you explore space through the assistance of the Hubble Space Telescope. Sky Map, a hand-held planetarium, lets you point at the sky, as it charts your location, and identifies galaxies, nebulae, and the universe, with ultraviolet and infrared light.
- Water for hydration, energy bars, and the party munching food, and hot beverages, your awed, excited, and perhaps chilly, group craves.
- Soft music, to accompany the magic night sky, for any dancing that it might inspire.
- Portable batteries for your techie equipment, and the telescope, if you take one along.
Off the Sofa and Under the Stars – But Where?
The dark skies are the star’s besties. They are every stargazer’s celestial platform for viewing the miraculous, and majestic formulation of a grand light show. Planning is necessary, to have in place, the elements which insure a true “sky reveal”. Choose the right setting for viewing. It could be a local field, the shoreline of a beach, with unobstructed sky views, the countryside, a mountain top, a national park, or the desert. These locations are quiet, and darkness aligns with just a little moonlight, to allow for observing the sky, with extraordinarily little” light pollution”, which can filter, and obscure the objects, within your gazers’ viewing bliss.
Check the weather in advance. Star gazing is good anytime, but a crystal-clear sky, presents the universe at its spectacular best, for phenomenal viewing. The international web site, Metcheck, offers frequently updated, radar and satellite predictions, specifically for stargazers, everywhere.
Try Stargazing; Seeing is Believing!
If you still find yourself wondering why you may embark upon such a stargazing experience. Consider this:
- Its free
- There is always something mysterious happening, such as the dimming, and dying of old stars, space junk, meteor showers, craters careening towards earth, and the orbiting of the International Space Station (ISS).
- It is possible to see, with a telescope or app, puffy clouds of gases and dust, like Orion Nebula, which are creating starbirth regions of tiny baby stars, in the night sky. This is total coolness.
If you love Astronomy, and time spent gazing at the sky, due to deep celestial curiosity, finding new objects, and witnessing the beginnings of tiny, forming, bright, and twinkling, pointy, colorful, massive entities; you are an adventurer. It is wise to appreciate that the sky is truly a new frontier, which may be a hugely significant destination, for earthlings, in the coming decade, when astrotourism is the new cool, and happening with regularity.