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Edmonton is the northernmost metropolis in Canada, and a great place for stargazing with clear winter skies, and incredible views of the northern lights. Get a little starstruck with these prime stargazing locations in and around Edmonton!
Stargazers, unite! The Observatory at the TELUS World of Science – Edmonton (TWOSE) is the perfect place to explore the night sky – within city limits. Located in Coronation Park, just southeast of TWOSE, access to the Observatory is convenient and admission is free. Guests can view the sun, moon, stars and planets through high quality telescopes and can even explore the galaxy with the assistance of volunteers from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Edmonton Centre. For more information on hours of operation click here.
If stargazing in sprawling aspen parkland is what you’re after head to Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, located just 40 minutes east of Edmonton (in Elk Island National Park). No light pollution here! It is a 300 km square region dedicated to maintaining the dark sky which means optimal conditions for seeking out sparkling star clusters, nebulae and galaxies, and even catching a glimpse of the bright, pulsating chorus of lights we know as aurora borealis.
The University of Alberta has an observatory of their own that they open to the public too! It’s located on the roof of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS), the science faculty’s shiny new building. Open on Thursday evenings for regular observing hours, and they open for special visits from schools and other educational groups. Whenever you go, you’ll hear about astronomy from real astronomers who are currently researching from that exact observatory.
Stay up after midnight, dress warmly and bring a thermos of hot cocoa: you’re about to take a front row seat at one of the most magnificent shows on earth: the Northern Lights. Here in Edmonton, you’re in one of the country’s best places for witnessing this phenomenon of nature: green and pink dancing lights form part of Edmonton’s skies for four months over the winter. Check Aurora Watch for a real-time monitor of Northern Light activity in the Edmonton area.
Like this post? Check out our Insider’s Guide To The Largest Dark Sky Preserves In Canada and Spend A Magical Night At Aurora Village, too!