Best destinations for stargazing and astrotourism

For stargazers, the darkest skies provide the best entertainment. Planets, innumerable twinkling stars and bright meteors are good reasons to look up. But witnessing cosmic wonders has become sacred due to so many U.S. skies adversely affected by light pollution, making dark, clear evenings a challenge. So greater numbers of galaxy geeks are gravitating toward destinations where constellations are the brightest.

“Like seeing endangered animals, people want to see the rare night sky,” says Alan Dyer, an astronomy writer and photographer and producer of planetarium programs for the TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Alberta, in Canada. “Astrotourism is a growing part of the travel industry because people want to check amazing sights off their bucket list, like seeing the Northern Lights, a solar eclipse or the Milky Way. They’re on par with the scenic wonders on Earth.”

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