The World’s Top 10 Stargazing Spots

© PHOTOTAKE Inc. / Alamy

Yangtze River Valley, China

2 of 12

YANGTZE RIVER VALLEY, CHINA

The Landscape: While modern China’s big cities usually have poor viewing conditions, the country has a rich tradition of stargazing (one of the world’s earliest observatories was built in Beijing during the 15th-century Ming Dynasty). The dramatic Yangtze River valley, with its monumental Three Gorges Dam project, offers both stunning daytime scenery and comparatively clear night skies.

The Skyscape: The Chinese have kept meticulous records of solar eclipses for thousands of years (traditionally interpreting them as inauspicious omens), and on July 22, 2009, a five-minute total solar eclipse will cast its shadow over the Yangtze River valley.

How to Experience It: The stargazing-themed tour operator MWT Associates (www.melitatrips.com) offers a two-week China trip in July 2009 to coincide with the solar eclipse; the itinerary includes explorations of Beijing and Xian, and a cruise up the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Shanghai.

The World’s Top 10 Stargazing Spots

solar eclipse over the Yangtze River Valley, China

The World’s Top 10 Stargazing Spots

Yangtze River Valley, China

YANGTZE RIVER VALLEY, CHINA

The Landscape: While modern China’s big cities usually have poor viewing conditions, the country has a rich tradition of stargazing (one of the world’s earliest observatories was built in Beijing during the 15th-century Ming Dynasty). The dramatic Yangtze River valley, with its monumental Three Gorges Dam project, offers both stunning daytime scenery and comparatively clear night skies.

The Skyscape: The Chinese have kept meticulous records of solar eclipses for thousands of years (traditionally interpreting them as inauspicious omens), and on July 22, 2009, a five-minute total solar eclipse will cast its shadow over the Yangtze River valley.

How to Experience It: The stargazing-themed tour operator MWT Associates (www.melitatrips.com) offers a two-week China trip in July 2009 to coincide with the solar eclipse; the itinerary includes explorations of Beijing and Xian, and a cruise up the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Shanghai.

The World’s Top 10 Stargazing Spots

© PHOTOTAKE Inc. / Alamy
Promoted Stories
Explore More
More from T+L