20Nov2018

Where Will Science Take Us? To The Stars?

Have you ever experienced the miracle of gazing at the night sky lit up by the stars? Observatories will help immerse you fully in the space dimension. Observatories in LA, Chile and Hawaii are inviting you to feel the magic of the cosmos. 

The Milky Way and moon illuminate a lone tree in the Atacama Desert, Chile. (© Nicholas Buer/Corbis)

The Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is a place where the night sky spreads before your eyes and allows you to contemplate and explore its beauty and deepness. Chile’s desert is enormous and is a place with favourable conditions for observatories to explore the night sky. The majority of scientific astronomy facilities are located there. However, this place is available for amateurs just as for professionals. In the Atacama they offer you to take delight in the dark sky and start a space trip.

Learn more about ALMA

Observation point, considered to be the most complex and biggest in the world is known as ALMA. If you are an amateur and want to visit Atacama Large Millimeter/ sub-millimetre Array, you can come every weekend in the morning. However, firstly you have to pass the registration and get your entry pass. It often happens that tickets are sold out far in advance. Visitors stand amazing opportunities to see how the personnel works, to visit a control room as well as maybe climb the antenna transporter.

You may wonder what ALMA’s research lies behind? The scientists study the birth of stars, galaxies and the whole Universe trying to find an answer to questions concerning our existence and origins. Only advanced and powerful equipment will help you in finding these answers.

Another astronomy observatory in the Atacama, which is now in the process of construction, is The Giant Magellan Telescope. As it’s been said, that the pictures taken by the telescope will be sharply-defined and clearer in detail. Las Campanas is the place where the observatory is being built by the alliance of United States universities. The scientists plan to have the observatory building finished by 2024. After it’ll start functioning it will be ready to welcome its curious visitors. However, the fact that remains unclear is its distant location, which requires a visitor to be a skilled driver to get to that area at night. Day-time visits are rather unreasonable and impractical, as far as the staff has night shifts and recharge their batteries during the day.

Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles offers you to get acquainted with one of the most famous facilities in the Northern Hemisphere. Being built more than 80 years ago, frequently shown on Television, captured in films and TV-shows, the Griffith Observatory encourages every visitor to look at the legendary skyline. The ticket is free of charge, and no registration is needed. If you are a shoestring budget traveller, the only problem may be a remoteness issue. As an alternative, you may come to any university in the US as all of them have small observation points on their campuses.

In the late afternoon, one may notice that the crowd is getting bigger and bigger with every hour. So is this because of extreme curiosity and a desire to gaze at the stars, stellar patterns, the moon and other celestial bodies, or is it just because the observatory has now become a wide-known film star?

Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is the highest top in the world and is Located in Hawaii. Thousands of both amateurs and professionals take their telescopes in order to stargaze. The drivers come there in advance as parking lots are limited and everyone needs to park a car before a stargazing time. The atmosphere is unforgettable. Everyone is in expectation of their turn to come to take a glance at a night sky. There are about 13 available telescopes. Some of them are transportable so that you can take it right to the very top of the volcano. It is also necessary to be aware of the specific climate, with low temperatures and low levels of oxygen in the air. A couple of observatories standing beside are unfortunately closed for public members.

It goes without saying that visiting such places as astronomy observatories broaden your outlook and make you debate matters in your mind concerning human beings, the universe and the whole world. You leave an observation point full of questions, emotions, both excitement and confusion. You start noticing stellar patterns, that you have never paid attention to before. Astronomy now astronomy becomes your new passion.

If the science of astronomy is second nature to you or you are just a night sky lover, here is a list of some places in the US that are free for visitors:

  • Taking advantage of the similar conditions as the observatory in the Atacama, the Lowell Observatory is one of the best places in the US to contemplate the Universe. This is the place where 88 years ago the planet known as Pluto was discovered.
  • Kitt Peak National Observatory welcomes you to join them both at night and during daytime and explore the space together.
  • McDonald Observatory belongs one of few observation points providing the public with an opportunity of looking through large telescopes, which is not allowed in every observatory.
  • Mount Wilson Observatory is an iconic place. Also, this place has sky viewing tours and trips to offer.
  • Allegheny Observatory has a season of tours, which are available twice a week. The tour includes the exciting history of telescope lens that leaves no one indifferent. And, in addition, you are given a free hand to look through one of biggest world’s telescopes.

Bio
My name is Erica Fleming. I support the effective adoption of new technologies or ways of working within writing by communicating complex information in an informative and inspiring way. . I’m fond of writing articles for students, helping with essays like animal farm commandments

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