International Dark Sky Week: Starscapes’ Special Astro Tourism Activities for Astronomy Enthusiasts

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The vast skies and everything that happens high above in that space holds a great charm for most of us, doesn’t it? If astronomy is something that interests you, then this International Dark Sky Week (22 April – 30 April) is the chance to explore the mysterious world filled with stars, planets, galaxies, meteors, comets, constellations, nebulae and a lot more celestial objects and phenomena.

Starscapes, a popular astro tourism company in India, is organizing a range of exciting astronomy-based activities throughout the week at its observatories in Kausani and Bhimtal (Uttarakhand) as well as mobile observatories in Goa, Munnar, Puducherry, Madikeri and Virajpet (Coorg).

What is International Dark Sky Week?

Observed during the new moon week in April (either the week preceding the new moon or succeeding it), the International Dark Sky Week aims to shed light on the night sky, the ecosystem that prospers in the dark, and the effect of light pollution on this ecosystem. It underscores the reason why a star-studded night sky is a rare occurrence in the cities.

It’s also a week that astronomy enthusiasts celebrate with activities such as stargazing, skywatching, astrophotography etc. So, the purpose of International Dark Sky Week is not only to admire the dark sky but also to raise awareness among people so that they take responsible measures to do away with superfluous artificial lighting, whose illumination scatters all over and does more harm to life than good.

What kind of astronomy-based activities are organized by Starscapes?

As part of the International Dark Sky Week celebrations, Starscapes is hosting exciting shows and events such as Messier Marathon, Planetary Parade and Astrophotography. These activities will give you an opportunity to discover more about the cosmos that has always fascinated humans.

Messier Marathon:

Ever found any DSOs (Deep Sky Objects) during your backyard astronomy? No? You can spot them with the help of Starscapes’ state-of-the-art telescopes installed at its Kausani and Bhimtal observatories. Join the Messier Marathon to watch heavenly bodies that are not visible to the naked eye. Catch spectacular glimpses of some of the galaxies, nebulas and star clusters cataloged by French astronomer Charles Messier (after whom this event is named).

Timings: 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm & 10.00 pm to 11.00 pm; throughout the International Dark Sky Week.

Cost: Rs.500

Planetary Parade:

Watch the rare spectacle of planets lining up in the sky, at the crack of the dawn. Gawk at the phases of Venus, the clouds and satellites of Jupiter, and the rings of Saturn! A picture-perfect moment needs to be captured, right? You will also be helped to click a picture of it, which you can take back home. You can enjoy this 45-minute experience at any of the seven above-mentioned Starscapes’ observatories across India.

Timings: 4.00 am to 4.45 am & 4.45 am to 5.30 am, from 22nd to 30th April.

Cost: Rs.500

Astrophotography:

This workshop at Starscapes’ Kausani observatory is for the serious astrophotography enthusiasts out there. Learn how to click the photographs of the night sky like a pro, know the knacks of using telescopes and mounts to capture deep sky objects, and master the photo processing part.

When: 29th April to 1st May.

Cost: Rs.10,000

So, are you ready to set out on a cosmic quest? Since Starscapes has got everything ready to offer you an amazing skywatching experience, just take a flight to Goa or Puducherry or any of the Starscapes’ Dark Sky locations and discover the secrets of space.

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