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The News Website for Glendale High School


The News Website for Glendale High School


The Five Best Places for Stargazing in California

These are the best destinations for you to get a view of our galaxy!

It always amazes me how we live in this beautiful, yet dangerous, endless universe. Because of light pollution in Glendale, we can almost never see the beauty of the universe without using a telescope. However, there are several dark places on Earth where you can see the stars, the planets and even the Milky Way Galaxy with just your naked eyes.

Siskiyou County 

Siskiyou County is located in Northern California, known for its non-existent light pollution. The county is known for being very quiet, and all you have to do is look up, and you will see millions of stars.

Lava Beds National Monument and Somes Bar are the best places to visit. Lava Beds is a vast park located in the northeastern corner of Siskiyou County and Somes Bar is a small town. There, you can relax and enjoy the breathtaking night displays of nature.

Siskiyou County also offers many activities other than stargazing, such as kayaking, horseback riding, and fishing. All these things make Siskiyou County the perfect destination.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is located in Southern California, and it’s a 2.5 hour drive away from Los Angeles. This park has the darkest and clearest night sky in California. The park is located in the high desert, and it is far away from any city lights, which makes it very dark and great for stargazing. It ranks among the best national parks for stargazing and was honored as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association

You can explore Joshua Tree from the towns of Yucca Valley or Twentynine Palms. Some of the most popular spots in the park are Skull Rock, Arch Rock, Cap Rock and The Ocotillo Patch. However, to be able to see the Milky Way, the best months to visit would be from August to September, as this is the time when the galaxy is the most visible. 

Death Valley National Park 

If you want to see the Milky Way Galaxy with your naked eye, then Death Valley is the place for you. It is located in southeastern California, near the undefined border between the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert. It is known for having the darkest skies in the United States. 

To minimize the negative impact of artificial lighting, the park follows strict lighting regulations. Lights in the park have been directed away from the sky and only on areas that need it, including walkways and parking lots. Observers are welcome to attend a complimentary Star Party at the Ranch at Death Valley, which is hosted by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society. The “Tonight’s Sky” tour starts at 8 p.m. 

San Diego County: Julian and Borrego Springs

You will be amazed when you see the stars from Julian and Borrego Springs’ beautiful skies. Following the lead of nearby Borrego Springs, the mountain town of Julian in San Diego County has lately been recognized as California’s second dark-sky community. 

There are no other places in San Diego where you can experience stargazing like this, because the place is protected from the light pollution. In fact, Anza-Borrego Desert is ranked in the top ten places for stargazing in America. 

You can go stargazing on your own, or you can sign up for specially scheduled star parties that take place in Borrego Springs. These parties offer dinner and drinks, followed by a guided stargazing tour with astronomers. They show you around, present lectures and get you to view the galaxy with an 11-inch telescope. There is also an Art Center located nearby called the Borrego Performing Arts Center.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is most known for having many stargazing spots. The park is miles away from city lights, which makes it a perfect place to look at the stars. After dark, without the aid of a telescope or binoculars, you can see a countless number of stars, and even the Milky Way, which can best be seen during the summer months. 

The best places for stargazing in Yosemite are Glacier Point, the Badger Pass ski area, and the open areas of Yosemite Valley. There are a number of tours available in these spots, and astronomers often set up telescopes and walk you through the best parts of Yosemite to look at the stars. The two most popular tours are Starry Skies Over Yosemite and Glacier Point Stargazing Tour

It’s important to check a night sky calendar to determine the moon’s phases and its rising and setting times before going. In addition to indicating how much of the moon is lighted, this will also indicate when the moon will be visible. A new moon or a time when the moon is not visible in the sky are the ideal times to visit. 

I believe every person should visit one of these places at least once in their lifetime. It would be a wonderful experience and will give you a chance to connect more with nature and our universe. 

Keep your eyes on the stars, Nitros!

About the Contributor
Edita Melkumyan
Edita Melkumyan, Staff Writer
Edita is a senior at Glendale High School. She is a journalism staff member, she enjoys music and she is a future doctor majoring in psychology. She also likes to draw and get creative during her free time.
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