13 Otherworldly Destinations Perfect for Stargazing

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© Michele Falzone/JAI/Corbis

You may be able to spot Orion’s Belt and the Big Dipper from London and New York, but the glow of the Milky Way? You’ll need to be somewhere a bit more remote for that—like lunar-desert-on-Africa’s-western-coast remote.

Mauna Kea in Hawaii

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People making the two-hour drive to the gusty 13,796-foot summit of Mauna Kea, home to the world’s largest optical telescope, have high risk for altitude sickness, but serious sky-lovers brave the elements (and low oxygen levels) for some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The peak closes to tourists come nightfall, but the visitor’s center (at a more manageable 9,200 feet) remains open until 10 p.m. There, guests are treated to free lectures, Q&As, and a chance to peer through 11-, 14-, and 16-inch telescopes.

13 Otherworldly Destinations Perfect for Stargazing

Mauna Kea in Hawaii

People making the two-hour drive to the gusty 13,796-foot summit of Mauna Kea, home to the world’s largest optical telescope, have high risk for altitude sickness, but serious sky-lovers brave the elements (and low oxygen levels) for some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The peak closes to tourists come nightfall, but the visitor’s center (at a more manageable 9,200 feet) remains open until 10 p.m. There, guests are treated to free lectures, Q&As, and a chance to peer through 11-, 14-, and 16-inch telescopes.

© Michele Falzone/JAI/Corbis
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