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Stargazing Is The Must-Try Thing For Travellers Heading West This Fall

photo credit: jeremy thomas, unsplash

“Power down. Look up.” That’s the motto of Jasper’s Dark Sky Festival, a celebration of all things extraterrestrial happening this month in Alberta. At the centre of the week-long fest is the free stargazing event taking place on the shore of Lake Annette.

Beyond The Stars pulls in the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Dark Sky Photographers, and Parks Canada Interpreters to make the evening of stargazing both magical and super interesting on a scientific level. Here’s why you need to get there this autumn.

 

Jasper National Park is the place to see stars

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada named the park an official Dark Sky Preserve nearly a decade ago — it’s the world’s second biggest and is truly accessible to all travellers.

 

When else do you get to visit a Canadian beach at night (and in October)?

Jasper’s Beyond The Stars event takes place on the soft, sandy beaches of Lake Annette where you can spread a blanket on the shore, lay back, and look up. We don’t recommend doing it in a swimsuit, though.

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You saw Jasper National Park by day in my last post, but this takes it to another level 😮⭐️🌙 This was taken during the Jasper Dark Sky Festival which has been held annually over two weekends in October since 2011 in the town of Jasper, Alberta. It came about to celebrate the fact that the National Park of Jasper is a Dark Sky Preserve – meaning that you get incredible views of the night sky here, with limited light pollution. In fact, the town of Jasper itself has special street lighting installed, to minimise light pollution and maximise your celestial viewing experience! ⠀ ⠀ #JasperAlberta #Alberta #Canada #JasperNationalPark #JasperDarkSkyFestival #JasperDSF #CanadaAdventure #LoveCanada #VisitCanada

A post shared by Laurence: Finding the Universe (@lozula) on

 

You can take some seriously cool photos

Here’s a cool trick we learned from the internet: a camera and tripod set-up can capture photos of Northern Lights auroras even when your eyes can’t see them. Just use the time lapse feature on your camera to take 10 to 20-second shots of sky.

 

There’s zero light pollution

Free shuttle buses take gazers into the park so that the arrival of cars (and their headlights) won’t interrupt the pure gazing experience every seven minutes.

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Star trails over Pyramid mountain during the Jasper Dark Sky Festival🏔✨ There was a 3/4 moon while I was setting up the shot🌔. It’s amazing how bright the moon is, I didn’t even need my headlamp. When I arrived there were some other photographers on the island, however by the end of the 2 hours I was all alone and the moon had set🌑. It was pitch black and it became a little unnerving😟. Luckily I made it back to the car without any wildlife encounters. . . . . . . . #myjasper #venturebeyond #jaspernationalpark #travelalberta #parkscanada #canadianrockies #tourismalberta #travelalbertacanada #venturesque #travelforlife #forevertravel #hifrom #mybelleview #explorecanada #startrails #startrailsphotography #startrail #startrailphotography #startrailchasers #natgeospace #jasperdarkskyfestival #jasperdarksky #pyramidmountain #eclectic_shotz #icefieldsparkway #natgeoyourshot #milkywaypics #milkyway_nightscapes #theastrodaily #astrophotography_

A post shared by Mike Leeson Photography (@experiences.and.exposures) on

 

You get to hang out with a bunch of other amateur astronomers

Experiencing the enormity of the night sky and realizing our teeny tiny place in the universe is what bonding moments are made of. Share the awe.

 

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