Nowadays it is hard to find a place where you are able to enjoy the whole beauty of the night sky with all its shining stars. Growing cities and therefore increased light and air pollution makes it difficult to make out a spot where stargazing is still possible. Two aspects turn Spain into a true paradise for star observation. First of all the good climate affords a lot nights with clear sky and secondly many places without light pollution and protected natural areas could be found in Spain.
Stargazing is something lots of people love to do and it is something humans have been doing for a long time. As well as nice to watch at, the stars were really useful to early humans. The stars always stay in the same position relative to each other, therefore humans began pretty early mapping them and forming constellations. The patterns of stars reminded people on familiar forms, for example a dragon or a warrior or a swan. Very well-known nowadays are these 12 constellations: Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn. They are the signs of the zodiac too and they form a kind of circular pattern in the night sky, which the ancient Babylonians used as a calendar and for navigation purposes.
Official Starlight destinations
To assure that humans nowadays could also enjoy the beauty of the stars, the UNESCO and the UNWTO support the initiative “Starlight Reserve”. It is an international certificate for every place that provides perfect conditions, according to light, air clearness and nature. If a place with this attributes is found and considered as a starlight reserve, the area has to be protected by authorities. The aim is to preserve the astronomical conditions, the landscape and nature, the quality of the night sky and the cultural heritage altogether. On the Canary Islands alone, three areas received this certificate: Roque de los Muchachos (La Palma), Mirador Morro Velosa (Fuerteventura), or the Teide National Park and Granadilla de Abona in Tenerife. Especially their perfect geographical location makes them famous for stargazing: very close to the Equator, but far enough from tropical storms, which allows visitors to see the entire Northern Hemisphere and a big part of the Southern one.
Even the very first area in the world that has been designated as starlight reserve was La Palma, in the year 2012. Since then more and more opportunities for star observations have been created. The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos for example is home to one of the most extensive fleets of telescopes to be found anywhere in the world.
Activities under the stars
La Palma is just one of many destinations in Spain, which offers activities for families, companies and friends all related to the Stars. To find out more about the relation between Gastronomy and Astronomy, visitors can join a Dinner under the night sky and learn from a Starlight Guide and Astronomer all about the wonders of the space while enjoying a delicious meal. For a very memorable experience there is the chance to sleep outside. If in a tent, in a bubble or under the open sky, this adventure will turn every journey in a special one.
Facts about our galaxy
There are approximately four hundred thousand million stars in our galaxy. That is as impressive as the number of stars that make up the Milky Way: about a hundred thousand million. According to the International Astronomical Union, every night the starry sky presents 88 constellations. Seeing this star formations transport gazers immediately back to the ancient times. From Tenerife, 83 of the 88 officially recognised constellations can be seen.
If you want to found out more about the other ideal Spanish destinations for stargazing visit our blog or write us a message. Across Spain offers many stargazing programs in Spain.