A Stargazer’s Guide to the Galaxy

A Stargazer’s Guide to the Galaxy
These parks are a must-visit for their astronomical wonders , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

These places are perfect for those who want to brush up their astronomy or plain gaze at the star-filled skies

Sahana Iyer
August 01 , 2019
03 Min Read

With an emerald green blanket, a jug of lemonade and a good book, I lay down down on the mildly prickly grass and looked up to see an endless sky filled with millions of particles of pollution. One of the many tagalongs of Delhi is its polluted unclear skies. I may be stuck with these foggy views, but those in the United States of America have the opportunity to experience every starry-eyed astronomy lover’s dream-- a sky aggressively sprinkled with stars. Do not miss an opportunity to visit these certified International Dark Sky Parks if you ever visit the USA.

 A starry sky at Arches National Park

Arches National Park, Utah

One of the “Mighty 5” parks of Utah, this dark sky park offers landscapes dotted with over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. Bordered by the Colorado river, this park is also home to the humongous Delicate arch. You can witness the swirling purple-blue skies hovering over the desert lands. 

 Goblin Valley Eroded Hoodoos against beautiful starry night sky

Goblin Valley State Park, Colorado

Situated on a corner of the Colorado Plateau, this park gets its name from its tall, fantastically shaped structures known as goblins. Often upstaged by neighbouring, more popular dark sky parks, this place is ideal for those looking to avoid crowds.

 Goblin Valley Eroded Hoodoos against beautiful starry night sky

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Largely consisting of federal lands and private property, this option may not be the most accessible. The Black Canyon at the heart of the park is a steep chasm formed by the Gunnison river in Colorado. If the sight of the giant valley underneath you isn’t satisfying, you can always turn your attention to the marvelous skies above.

 Milky way over Great Basin national park

Great Basin National Park, California

A land covered by ancient bristlecone pine trees, this park also consists of the Lehman Caves and Wheeler Park. The park has taken efforts to ensure awareness of the importance of dark sky preservation. The area is mostly mountainous and makes the ideal backdrop for the gleaming view.

 A beautiful view of the sky at Natural Bridges park

Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

Home to the second largest natural bridge, this park is a popular tourist hotspot and attracts around 95,000 visitors annually. Away from the city’s light gives it the upperhand of extremely dark skies, untouched by light pollution. Summer visitation is ideal if you want to try their astronomy ranger programs.

 Milky way galaxy from Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania

Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

Another park away from the light pollution of the cities, Cherry Springs state park offers spectacular natural views which make the park very popular. In fact, the park also hosts two star parties annually. With a 360 degree view from its “Astronomy field”, is it any wonder hundreds of people are drawn to it. 

 Santa Elena Canyon under the Milky Way at Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Adventure junkies are drawn to this park on account of its hiking and backpacking trails. Nestled in the “Big Bend” of the Rio Grande river, this park is the least crowded out of all national parks in Southern USA. It lies on the border of Texas and Mexico. 

            


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