New ‘Dark Skies Camping Map Helps You Plan A Stargazing Trip (But Dont Forget About The Moon)

Best 10 Stargazing Locations In New Mexico To Camp Near Cruise America
Best 10 Stargazing Locations In New Mexico To Camp Near Cruise America

Summer is the perfect time for stargazing. Yes, the nights are especially short this time of year, so you'll have to sleep really late, but there are special bonuses this time of year. Of course, I'm talking about the Milky Way. If you hit the dark sky at the right time of the month, you will see billions of stars in the night sky in the arc of our galaxy.

The new "Dark Sky" camping card makes it even easier.

New "dark sky map" from Hipcamp.

Check out Hipcamp's Dark Skies Map and find campgrounds, RV parks, RV parks, cabins, treehouses and campsites across the US under the perfect sky for stargazing.

The map overlays Dark-Sky International light pollution data from more than 340,000 campsites and shows the places with the darkest weather.

Other ways to find dark skies for stargazing

If you don't want to book a campsite or are outside the US, you can still use the same light pollution information by browsing the light pollution map or searching the Dark Site Finder. Another great way to experience the dark sky is to visit an International Dark Sky Site, a Dark Sky Reserve, or a UNESCO Starlight Reserve.

In general, you need to travel at least 40 kilometers from the city center to see the starry sky and the Milky Way.

You can also use ephemeris or the photographer's PhotoPills for specific times of the Milky Way rising and the location of a particular location.

However, it is important to think about timing before you start looking at the ghost page. If you don't, all your plans will be wasted. Why? month

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When (and when not) to reach for the stars

When planning any stargazing trip, including camping, it's important to consider the phase of the moon. Looking at the full moon, you can't see any stars in the middle of a big city. The Moon is the biggest light polluter and you must avoid its zenith phases to see the Milky Way.

Look for a "star window" that opens during the last quarter of the month when the satellite rises after midnight and closes a few days after the new moon during a 10% illuminated crescent. This creates a "star viewing window" for about 10 nights per lunar orbit.

Here are the remaining "Starwatch windows" for 2022, including the one we're in right now:

  • July 20-31
  • August 19-30
  • September 17-28
  • October 17-28
  • November 16-26
  • From December 16 to 26
  • What about the Barshaya meteorite?

    The most famous meteor shower of the year is the Perseid stream, which will peak on August 11-12, 2022. Unfortunately, this coincides with the appearance of August's full moon, the "disturbing moon". Therefore, large meteor showers will unfortunately be eliminated this year. In fact, the moon will light up the night sky so brightly that I suggest not going camping to continue the meteor shower. It's best to watch out for the shooting stars in late July.

    The Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks on July 29, 30 and 31, and the Perseid meteor shower on August 11. Go outside after midnight, maybe you're camping and you can see shooting stars.

    Why is the dark sky so important to humans?

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    "Only 2 in 10 people have seen the Milky Way from home," said Charles Post, an environmental consultant at Hipcamp. "In modern times, 80% of the planets have separated from the stars."

    According to the Italian Institute for Science and Technology of Light Pollution (ISTIL), the United States, the European Union (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), and two-thirds of the population and about 99% of the population of the European Union. through the night sky. exceeds the specified limit. due to the contaminated condition.

    What does this mean for a society and civilization deeply rooted in space and the starry sky? "The balance between darkness and night plays a dramatic and important role in the physiology and life history of all living things," Post said. "Humans evolved during the night, our vision is better during the day, and as visual animals we are better adapted to be active during the day."

    We sleep at night. We don't sleep when artificial light fills the night sky. "Our sleep patterns, immune and endocrine systems are also affected, which can have consequential effects on our overall health," Posta said.

    Why are dark skies so important to birds and insects?

    Plants that bloom for 24 hours depending on the amount of light. Pollinators – like bees and moths – depend on plants for food. Dark skies are very important for nocturnal animals.

    "Migratory birds nest in cities and kill hundreds of millions of birds every year," Post said. "If these long-distance refugees survive the break, at the very least, they waste precious energy resources, reduce their physical condition, and increase their risk of death from robbery, starvation, or disease."

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    Artificial light can also have a significant effect on insects. “We've all seen plumes of bugs circling the porch light. This causes exhaustion, dehydration and often death in insects that mistake artificial light sources for starlight or moonlight,” Post said. A food web that affects many bird and amphibian species. while eating. Plants that need pollination to reproduce.

    “Light pollution is our current crisis, and dark skies, like desert regions, must be protected and expanded to allow more people and nature to flourish.

    They wish you clear skies and big eyes.

    dark skies