In August, I wrote about some of the best stargazing destinations worldwide, based on an article I’d written for Matador Travel. Now it’s time to look more specifically about stargazing destinations in the Southwestern United States. This time, I put together a road trip itinerary for Examiner.com that stretches from West Texas to Southern California and takes in some of the best views of the nighttime sky that can be found anywhere in North America. There are numerous observatories in that region that offer public viewing programs, as well as national parks that provide you with a dramatic view of the heavens far from any cities.
Here is an excerpt from my article:
It’s one of the most sublime sights in nature: a dark sky filled with thousands of glittering stars. Our ancestors were well acquainted with this spectacle, and they could even gaze up most nights to see a gallery of shooting stars and a visible Milky Way galaxy. Today, unfortunately, light and pollution in populated areas of the world obscure all but a few hundred stars in the nighttime sky.
There are still places on Earth, however, where you can be awed by a view of the heavens, and one of those destinations is the Southwestern United States. This region has some of the world’s clearest skies and Arizona boasts more observatories than any other single state or country, according to the International Dark-Sky Association.
And here is a Google map that traces the Southwestern stargazing destinations.
View Stargazing the Southwest in a larger map