- New Mexico
Home to more than 60 International Dark Sky Parks, the USA has plenty of places to witness a sea of stars and constellations with unobscured views.
But you don’t have to spend the night in the wilderness to get a deeper understanding of astronomy. From mountaintops in Hawaii and Texas to the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, journey across the USA and discover visitor-friendly observatories, popular planetariums and important telescopes that will spark curiosity and inspire wonder.
Kitt Peak National Observatory
Nestled in the terracotta landscape outside Tucson, Arizona, Kitt Peak National Observatory is home to one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of research telescopes. During the day, visitors can tour the grounds via self-guided, guided or VIP programs. See the innovative McMath-Pierce Solar telescope, or partake in solar viewings via special telescopes. The popular Nightly Observing Program draws in visitors from near and far, as do the more intimate Dark Sky Discovery and Night of Marvelous Moon programs. The Overnight Telescope Observing Program provides the opportunity to view deep-sky objects with the guidance of an expert, while the three-day Astrophotography Workshop teaches the basics of night sky imaging.
To round out your visit, head to the Tohono O’odham National Cultural Center & Museum for an in-depth look at local Native America culture. Tour the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’s botanical garden to learn about Arizona’s natural history, or head to Saguaro National Park and hike winding desert trails surrounded by towering cacti.