Have you ever wondered about the mysterious realm outside our planet? Maybe you’ve wanted to roam the galaxy, travel among the stars, and get a new perspective on the universe. For now, stargazing is as close to it as us ‘average humans’ can get! Here’s an interesting fact: The furthest object our naked eye can see is 2.6 million light years away. On a clear night, you can see the Andromeda Galaxy through the lens of a telescope. But if you’re stuck in the city, where the barrage of lights from street lamps, skyscrapers and illuminated advertisements pollutes the night sky, chances are that the furthest object within view is the sign for the next highway exit, several metres away.
Luckily there are still places to getaway, where the view of the sky is comparable to that over 100 years ago; unspoiled places to wander by the light of the moon, gaze at the sky above, and be in awe at the immense size of the galaxy around us.
Check out these three ways to come over to “the dark side,” without venturing far from home.
- Catch Sight of “the Andromeda” at Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve
With an an observatory and planetarium built to offer dark and unobstructed views of the night sky, you can discover the secrets of the stars surrounded only by the sounds of nature. On clear nights, watch the sky come to life as you gaze through telescopes, or spend cloudy nights inside the planetarium, immersed in the myths, ancient stories of constellations, and historical cultures that viewed the skies as a realm filled with magical powers.
- BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) to Nutwood Observatory
Let your eyes roam across the stars during a laser light tour of the night sky from this Bancroft observatory before taking a closer look through the massive telescope onsite. Want to bring your own telescope? Make a reservation and arrange to set it up on the observation pad, cozy up under a blanket, and keep warm beside a roaring fire pit as you enjoy the sights above throughout the night.
- Wonder at the beauty above at the Lennox and Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area. Proud of its lack of light pollution, this free Dark Sky Viewing area offers a pristine night sky located at the most southerly point in Ontario.
Silently daydream the night away as your eyes wander among the stars, or muse aloud in the company of many observers, including the scientists and philosophers often found there. With a concrete observation pad, you can gaze through your own telescope, or set yourself up on the grass and admire the beauty above as humans did hundreds of years ago. Check the events calendar for ideal times to visit and programs designed to help novice stargazers get acquainted with the night sky.
Ontario’s Highlands Insiders
Knowledgeable in uncovering hidden gems, making fresh tracks, embracing new perspectives, and disconnecting from the everyday, this group of experts is happy to share their wisdom with you. With a passion for local stories, a love of delicious food, and a thirst for unrehearsed days, this team is made up of creative minds and wandering souls.