Based on feedback we’ve received from our guests, one of the best parts of a Getaway is the opportunity to stargaze far from city lights. This makes sense as an astonishing 99% of people in the United States and Europe can’t see the Milky Way from where they live due to light pollution.
Few things make us feel awe — that sense of wonder mixed with a touch of both fear and reverence — like being immersed in nature. When we stare out across a vast ocean or canyon, take in the panoramic view from a mountaintop, or gaze up at the stars, we recognize that we’re a very small part of something much greater than ourselves.
This can be an unnerving feeling, but as researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have found, it can also make us better people. Further studies have found that in addition to inspiring awe, stargazing can also reduce stress and increase positivity. Here are some tips to keep in your back pocket on your next Getaway to help you find the constellations.
Invest in a Red Flashlight
The warm glow of a red flashlight will give you enough light to see without ruining your night vision, unlike the bright glare of a regular blue-white flashlight, which forces your eyes to readjust every time you switch it on and off.
Especially if you’re just getting started, astronomers advise holding off on investing in a costly, tricky-to-use telescope. Instead, pick up an inexpensive pair of binoculars, which allow syou to see the sky in far greater detail than with the naked eye.
Be Strategic About Timing
Crisp, cold nights are much better for stargazing than warm, muggy ones, when humidity creates haze in the air. And you’ll see the stars more clearly if you choose a night when the moon is waxing or waning, since a full moon’s brightness can wash out the pinpricks of sunlight.
“Find Your Park After Dark” With the NPS
The National Park Service’s website provides listings of park-sponsored evening events, activities, and educational programming nationwide, along with listings for observatories and stargazing tips.
Get Help From Apps
With a variety of apps, users can simply point their phone cameras at the sky and instantly identify the stars, constellations, and planets overhead.
Need an escape to nature? Book your Getaway today.