Astronomy tour under dark sky in Morazan

Amid growing light pollution, astrotourism is emerging as a great way to rediscover the beauty of the starry sky in our country.

By Collaboration: John Cortes and Eduardo Castro
February 22, 2024- 09:58

Every year, the Astronomical Society of El Salvador (Astro) lights up the darkness of the night with its long-awaited astronomy camp.

On this occasion, the event took place last Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11, in Altos del Aguacate, near Corinto, Morazán Department, offering enthusiasts a unique experience under dark skies and away from urban lights.

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Time your departure to star camp at dawn and strategically place special equipment. Electricity cannot be used and is only allowed for telescopes.

John Cortez and Eduardo Castro are ready with telescopes to capture the moon, stars and planets. Photo: Thanks John Cortes

Amid increasing light pollution, astrotourism is emerging as a great way to rediscover the beauty of the starry sky in our country.

The choice of Altos del Aguacate for the event was no coincidence. The region offers exceptionally dark skies, providing the perfect environment for astronomical observation without light interference.

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This kind of ongoing pollution greatly affects the opportunity to fully experience astronomy, and events like Astronomy Camp are vital to raise awareness of the importance of protecting these sites and promoting local astrotourism.

Jupiter and some of its moons are seen from Corinth
In this image you can see Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system with some of its moons. Photo: Courtesy / John Cortez

At night, participants had the opportunity to explore planets, open clusters, nebulae and galaxies through powerful telescopes. Celestial objects, although they are always present, are invisible in an urban sky saturated with artificial lights.

This experience provides a unique connection with the universe, awakening curiosity and appreciation for the vastness of the universe.

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Proper preparation is key to making the most of this astronomical experience. Participants will need binoculars for detailed observations, sleeping bags for a comfortable night under the stars, a small gas stove for cooking needs, hiking boots for exploring the terrain, a coat for cold nights, instant food and a safety kit. First aid for anyone. event.

Another highlight of the astronomy camp is the use of red lights, which cause less interference in observations.

Sagittarius Astronomy Camp
The Sagittarius hand was obtained by a 1 hour exposure under an incredible 2 skies. Photo: Courtesy / Eduardo Castro

In addition, 4×4 transport facilitates access to remote locations, taking participants away from urban lights and immersing them in the true darkness of nature.

In images captured during the event, the Solar System's gas giant Jupiter appears majestic along with some of its notable moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

This celestial scene reveals the vastness and complexity of the universe, reminding us of the importance of preserving the darkness of the night for future generations.

Astronomy Camp is not only a place for astronomy enthusiasts, but an opportunity to reconnect with the wonder and beauty hidden in the vastness of the universe, beneath the dark skies of El Salvador.

Camp Corinth Chicken Nebula
Running the Chicken Nebula, this nebula consists of two bright regions, one IC 2948 (looks like the back of a chicken) and the other IC 2944 (a vertical structure with a bright star in the middle). Photo: Courtesy / Eduardo Castro

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Misty Tate

"Freelance twitter advocate. Hardcore food nerd. Avid writer. Infuriatingly humble problem solver."

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