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Astrotourism and Dark Skies: Traveling to See the Stars (S2-E1)

The Book

What is Astrotourism?

  • We look around, but not up

Stargazing / Astronomy

  • So how much of the skies are we actually seeing- When I look up, I see stars, but only the brightest - reason we need to travel 
  • 80% in the world live under light polluted skies - 99% in US

Dark Skies / Dark Places

  • International Dark-Sky Association 
  • What do they do?
  • What criteria used to have a place considered Dark-Sky designated
  • Light pollution examples (smarter lights and placement) Las Vegas

Designated Dark Sky sites

  • Where? - All over the world. Canada, Australia, Iceland - also in Europe, UK and Asia.
  • Awareness.
  • So, we get out to one of these amazing Dark Sky designated parks and, we’re coming out of our neighborhoods where we see our usual 12 stars in the sky, now we’re seeing literally thousands. How do we get our bearings

Teach us to be amateur astronomers

  • what to look for in the sky? 
  • (focal points - Ursa Major - Big Dipper - 
  • How far can we see? Moons planets (how many?) suns, galaxy (Andromeda), satellites (International Space Station) how far can we see with the naked eye? Do we need a telescope? Portable options
  • Skies always moving: locations and months). Tools for viewing. 
  • Things to avoid. Full moon. Time for eyes to adjust (keep the cellphone parked)
  • How do we know when astro events are happening in our area? Good resource?


  • - How far south can it be seen?
  • Aurora Australis - I’ve always heard of the Northern Lights, but had no idea the same phenomena happened in the South.

Meteor Showers

  • Never seen one, or a shooting star (are they stars?)
  • Comets and astroid debris. We take things for granted. How to plan them?
  • Geminids meteor shower Dec 14-15 peak. One of the strongest. Best time to view? Asteroid based meteor shower (more rare).


  • 3D effect
  • Next one's coming up.


  • The Book
  • Beautiful photography
  • with a cellphone

Space Flight

  • Viewing rocket launches (India, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand)
  • Space Camp
  • The difficulty of putting a human on the moon
  • So long since our last flight (Dennis Tito - International Space Station - First Space Tourist... $20 million - Cost! Where are people going?
  • Suborbital Space Tourism - what is it
  • What form do you see for private flights into space? How soon?

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