As anyone with a love for the stars knows, light pollution is slowly ruining people’s chances of seeing the skies at their most beautiful. Thousands of stars should be visible to the naked eye on a cloudless night, but on most nights we will be lucky to see more than just a handful. So what can those who love turning their eyes – and their telescopes – to the heavens do to see the sky as it should be seen, in all its glory?
Well, the first thing to do is to find a location as far away from artificial light as possible. From there, it will also be vital to make sure that you have the right tools in your possession to see the sky as clearly as possible. Not only will this require items with a significant magnification but ones that can also retain great quality as magnification increases.
For those heading out to such remote outposts, night vision goggles may well be an important part of one’s tool kit. Allowing individuals to get around without the need to utilise bright lights, such items will be invaluable, especially if you decide to head out to popular stargazing spots devoid of light pollution and do not wish to ruin the sights seen by other stargazers whilst you find the perfect spot.
Whilst heading to areas such as Exmoor (an area granted International Dark-Sky Reserve status in 2011 due to the way in which it manages light to improve the experience available to stargazers) and having the right stargazing equipment will be vital for those wishing to see the very best views of the skies, it will also be important for individuals to know where to look and what they are looking for.
Not only will research help those with a keen interest in space to understand more about the sky and where they should be looking to see the best celestial activity, but knowing when the likes of the Northerm Lights or meteor showers are likely to show up (and where) will make the experience even more thrilling. Furthermore, taking the time to research the best times and conditions for stargazing will allow individuals to find out when natural and artificial light might be at their lowest and in turn which times of the month may be best to head for remote countryside.
From national parks to the most remote areas of Scotland and Wales, there will be many locations in which the sky can still be seen in the way it deserves to be seen. With some careful planning, a knowledge of the best locations in your own vicinity and the best possible astronomical telescopes, it will be easy to see the sky in quite literally a whole new light. And with amatuer scopes now more affordable than ever, it will not cost a fortune for you to get all the tools you need to see even extremely distant celestial bodies, clearly, and in all their splendour. And very few sights in this life will end up being more amazing or humbling than that.
About the Author – Adam Howes is a freelance writer and blogger with a background in physics who regularly contributes articles to a variety of companies in the field. This piece was written using Sherwoods Photographic as inspiration.