What is Astro Tourism?
Funny, you should ask. Within the past week, I read that Astro Tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry.
Perhaps you have heard of Eco Tourism, where people journey to learn more about our environment, the Earth’s ecosystem, and the impact of everyday life and humanity on the planet.
Astro Tourism is similar. Astro Tourism can encompass many things. It can involve just simply setting up a small telescope or binculars and observing the Moon, to venturing to a dark sky site, to really see the difference that less light pollution makes, to setting up a very large telescope, and seeing distant galaxies, traveling back in time, and seeing very faint nebula, clusters, and deep sky objects.
No More Closet Telescopes
To me, Astro Tourism also involves helping everyday people learn to use that telescope that they may have sitting in a closet. Perhaps you received one as a Christmas gift and, after a few uses, you became frustrated with it. Maybe you couldn’t find anything, maybe you thought you’d see more than you did, or maybe you got exasperated with the amount of light pollution at your location. Maybe you just simply couldn’t even get the telescope set up, and felt like you had no earthly clue as to what you were doing. For whatever the reason, your telescope, be it the $150 Kmart, Target, Walmart, or Costco telescope, or something from a telescope store, your telescope sits in a closet.
I don’t like that.
So, whatever your interests. Whether it is just simply learning to recognize a few planets, observing the Moon, learning to use your telescope, or delving into some really serious deep sky objects that very, very few have ever seen, Astro Tourism has a place for you.