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Set Your Sites On Stargazing

A meteor shower captured in the Okanagen. Photo by Darren Kirby

While we love s’mores and campfire chats, when camping the real show happens when the fire goes out and we can see all the stars. With all of Canada’s vast open spaces, it’s not hard to get away from the star dimming lights of the city and enjoy some star gazing. The Globe and Mail spoke to Canadian astronomy expert Terence Dickinson, who is also editor of SkyNews magazine, to get his stargazing secrets.

Where to do your stargazing: Provincial and national parks. According to Dickinson, parks are leaving parts of the park dark so as to make for the best possible conditions. If stargazing is all you care to do, with a day pass you can drive in and out with your telescope.

Stargazing alcoves: Charleston Lake Provincial Park near Gananoque, Ontario, has cut manicured the grass and cut out a space from the brush just for stargazing. More parks are encouraged to do this, so it’s worth it to ask the next park you visit.

The province with the best big sky country: Saskatchewan. Once you get away from farms, is the easiest place to find the places to stargaze.

The best time for seeing stars: Go between the first quarter and last quarter moon, says Dickinson. The moon will be at it’s smallest, and dimmest, so won’t block out the stars.

Read more of Dickinson’s advice, including the best way to see the northern lights, here.

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