The Sciences

Stargazing vacations

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitSep 9, 2010 11:00 AM

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A couple of years ago I sailed to the Galapagos Islands with a boat full of skeptics. We toured the islands by day, of course, but at night we also took a gander at the Equatorial skies, in which we could see objects (like Alpha Centauri) you can't see from the US. We had a great time, and people in the travel business know that can add a lot of fun to a trip. Whole cruises are set up to watch eclipses, and there are other trips to dark sites from which vacationers can use telescopes and have astronomers show them the heavens. The New York Times has an article on this very topic, in fact. I have never done one of these trips, but maybe someday I will. I wouldn't need much assistance, I think, as long as I'm north of the Equator. But in Australia or Chile, I wouldn't mind a little help. Either way, it sounds like a great way to add a new dimension to a vacation. Tip o' the three-ounce bottle to Charles Lawson.

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