Big city dwellers are deprived of one really wonderful spectacle – the dark night sky studded with bright stars. All this is because of city lights that eclipse the starry skyline. We have forgotten what the Milky Way looks like. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the night sky, you have to go out of town. But if you’re really into astronomy or want to show your loved one all the constellations you know, you should really visit an observatory. There are many observatories which are public observatories open to tourists, and you can even look through the professional telescopes to see the mesmerizing beauty of the night sky. Here are some observatories from around the world from beautiful Russian ladies that are waiting for your visit.
Moletai Astronomical Observatory, Lithuania
10 km away from the town of Moletai and 70 km away from Vilnius, there is the Moletai Astronomical Observatory, founded in 1969. It is located on Kaldiniai Hill, where the sky is really dark in the night. Due to the heightened interest of tourists, the scientists who work there decided to open the Ethnocosmological Museum near the observatory. It’s a glass construction that has the shape of a flying saucer. The museum exhibits include meteorite fragments, the photographs of galaxies, the real sundial, etc. Visitors can hear a lecture and take a look at the illustrations. If the sky is clear, you can contemplate the details of the night sky through the telescope. A perfect romantic moment to share.
Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, the Canary Islands
This is one of the most significant night sky and solar observatories of our time. It’s located on the island of La Palma at the altitude of 2,400 m. In 1979, when the observatory was founded, the Isaac Newton Telescope was moved here from the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Today, teams from almost every European country and the USA work here using the fleet of 14 sets of telescopes. The conditions for studying the sky are one of the best in the world. There are also local laws that regulate the light pollution and the flight paths of planes.
The observatory is open to visitors on particular days, depending on the season – you should check the schedule on their site before going. Tourists are shown the telescopes but not allowed to look through them. Good news is that you don’t even need the telescope to see the stars – they are bright enough here to enjoy them with a naked eye. There is also a great observation deck near the observatory, from which you can see the mountain ridge of the island.
Atacama Observatories, Chile
Another perfect venue for professional and romantic star-gazing is the Atacama Desert. It hosts 40% of telescopes that are currently pointed at the sky in many famous observatories. And the reason is simple – 300 clear days a year. The biggest and the most popular among tourists are the ESO observatories: La Silla, Paranal, and Chajnantor. They can be visited for free on Saturdays and Sundays, but advance online registration is required. The Paranal observatory attracts the Bondiana fans – its ESO Hotel appeared in Quantum of Solace.
Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory, Utrecht, The Netherlands
One of the oldest observatories in the world established by the Utrecht University in 1853. The building of the observatory is a former 17th-century bastion. Here, the oldest telescope in Europe is carefully kept. The observatory has an educational mission, it is public and open to visitors (online registration is required though) who can use the telescopes.
Mount Wilson Observatory, the USA
It was one of the best observatories in the US. Albert Einstein visited this observatory in 1931. Today, due to its proximity to Los Angeles, scientific observation of deep space is limited, but there is something for astronomy lovers. This is the Hooker Telescope that can be used for public observations from spring through fall. Excursions are organized every weekend. (*/sjs)