During our trip to Costa Rica, we escaped the city of San Jose for a small beach town of Bejuco on the Pacific coast. We stayed in a beautiful oasis called EcoVida or nicknamed “Big Blue”, a sustainability-focused accommodation. We stayed in their recycled shipping container apartment for a relaxing break from traveling for work.
One night in Bejuco we walked outside and saw the sky lit up with stars. We then went to the beach to see the sky full of stars in full view. Stargazing on the beach while camping in Key West was one of my favorite memories as a child and this was the second view of the Milkyway Galaxy, a band of stars that extend across the sky. It filled me up with so much joy and happiness to lay amongst the universe and see the sky sparkling and point out different constellations
I want others to experience this as well and this blog is focused on how to stargaze yourself and tips to do.
- Plan around a New Moon
A few days before and after a new moon are the best time to go stargazing because the skies are darker and not affected by the bright moon. You can look up the moon cycles online or you can add it to your iPhone via WidgetSmith
so you’re always reminded!
2. Head to the Beach
In my experience going to a beach instead of in the mountains is the best option as looking out into the ocean provides the best view of the stars.
3. Download SkyView Lite
I have tried many different sky viewing apps but this one is hands down the best! You are able to move for your phone to easily point out constellations and planets in the sky. This is my favorite part about stargazing as I love to learn
about astronomy and how the world interacts with the universe.
4. Take a class or visit an observatory
During a retreat in Costa Rica, we had an astronomy workshop that taught us the basics of astronomy and immersed us into the subject. We learned about how to tell the difference between a planet and a dying planet (reddish color), the concept of time in space, the location of the North Star, and so much more. The teacher stayed overtime for the group as we kept asking endless amounts of questions.
Another option while traveling (as not most places in-person speak English) is to visit an observatory where they have telescopes to see up close. Observatories are more common than we think! Type in observatory near me in Google Maps to find the closest one to you.