The Sky is Falling
Cosmopolitan India|February 2020
Not just in Norway, the home of the Northern Lights, but also at several other picturesque locales around the world. Prepare to camp under a glittering sky, observe constellations, and be starstruck!
Sreeparna Mazumder

Atacama Desert

CHILE

Located in northern Chile, this 600-mile, salt-plains-and-boulders strip of land boasts the holy trifecta of ideal stargazing conditions: high altitude, low to zero light pollution, and dry (non-polar) air. No wonder, then, that it’s home to observatories like the La Silla Observatory and the Paranal Observatory, where you can huddle around telescopes and identify constellations and watch the Milky Way in all its star-studded glory. The more discerning astronomers can head to the ALMA Observatory, where the world’s most powerful radio telescope uses 66 satellite antennae (together it equals a 10-mile-long telescope) to look deep into the universe. For a more leisurely experience, visit Valle de Elqui, where you can set up your own telescope, go to one of the several nighttime observatories, and attend astronomy lectures.

Nova Scotia

CANADA

Imagine watching meteor showers and shooting stars under an illuminated, clear sky while listening to the soothing sound of waves. That’s what’s in store for you at Acadian Skies and Mi’kmaq Lands (along the shores of Yarmouth, Argyle, and Clare in southwestern Nova Scotia), which have been deemed as a Starlight Tourism Destination and a Starlight Reserve by the UNESCO-affiliated International Starlight Federation. Baxter’s Harbour (a small fishing village along the Bay of Fundy), Cow Bay (a near-secluded beach outside Halifax), and Ellenwood Lake Provincial Park (camping, fishing, canoeing et al) are great for spectacular night views. Apart from these, we’d recommend visiting the iconic Peggy’s Point Lighthouse (for the mesmerizing views), and camping for a night or two at Kejimkujik National Park (designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada). Get the Dark Sky Kit—binoculars, star finder, red light, games, and stargazing references—to brush up your celestial knowledge and explore galaxies far, far away.

Lake Tekapo

NEW ZEALAND

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