Sleeping Under The Stars: Tips for Astrotourism in WA
From Astrotourism towns to Astrophotography hotspots there is so much to explore when gazing upwards at the spectacular night sky.
You are likely familiar with that feeling when you look up into a night sky full of stars and an immediate sense of calm takes over, like all your earthly troubles slowly melt away – a small moment suspended in time where it’s just you and the vast Universe glistening above.
Travelling in country WA offers rare opportunities to see spectacular night skies unspoilt by light pollution. Perth is the most isolated continental capital city in the world, which makes it easy to escape bright city lights and access the pristine dark night sky.
If you enjoy nature escapes and caravanning/camping you have probably had your fair share of sparkling night skies, but there are towns around WA that actively protect dark night skies to keep nature’s light show spectacular.
You can also find selected places where visitors are welcome to bring telescopes, cameras for astrophotography, and their favourite chair or rug to lie back and take in the view of the Universe.
To find out more visit www.astrotourismwa.com.au
You’ll also find a map with astrophotography hotspots, observing sites, and astrotourism towns.
What’s Up in the Night Sky
In the first few months of the year, look south for the Magellanic Clouds, two galaxies in our neighbourhood and only visible in the Southern Hemisphere. Try on a moonless night and look for two small fuzzy clouds above the horizon.
From April to October it’s time to see the Milky Way in the early evenings. Highly prized by astrophotographers, the Milky Way is the thick band of stars stretching across the southern sky. Look for the Aboriginal astronomical constellation of the Emu in the Sky.
Later in the year, it’s a great time to head to a dark sky and count shooting stars! See the Leonids Meteor Shower in mid-November and the Geminids Meteor Shower in mid-December, two of nature’s best.
To find dates and details for what’s up each month in the night sky, visit www.astrotourismwa.com.au/stargazing
Photo: Aeyung Photography – Cape Le Grand National Park, Australia’s Golden Outback