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gregzsidisin
2010-Dec-10, 01:20 PM
Hi:

I've recently added a trip to the Equator to my "bucket list". Where's the best place and time to see the full Celestial Sphere?

I'm from New Jersey, have never been further south than central Florida, and so have never seen most of the southern constellations. (Where I came from in New Jersey, just outside NYC - I've barely seen *any* constellations... :P)

My fascination has grown for actually being at the Equator, seeing a full swath of the Celestial Sphere at night - preferably in a place with wonderfully clear, dark skies - and even seeing the Sun completely overhead at an Equinox, seeing the fast sunsets and sunrises I read about. All these have become a little obsession for me.

For the full effect I assume I'll want to be around during a Vernal or Autumnal Equinox, one that occurs when the Moon is nearly new. Need to avoid rainy seasons. (Galapagos sounds great, but I hear the islands are misty much of the year.) Oh, and somewhere "politically reasonable" - let's leave Somalia out for now. :P

Does anyone here have actual experience going to the Equator for stargazing, and have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Greg

Romanus
2010-Dec-11, 09:09 PM
Though I've never been, I suspect the best place to skygaze at the equator--by far--would be Ecuador, especially high in the mountains, above most clouds and humidity, with the relatively-dry Galápagos Islands a close second. There are dry inland parts of Kenya that seem ideal as well. Most other places, though, are in low-altitude areas that are either rainy all the time, or have long rainy seasons.