The introduction of a new line of exotic deep sea “Theme-cruises” has allowed for a spectacular view of the night sky amid the tranquil atmosphere of the sea, offering a wondrous array of twinkling planetary and stellar worlds for stargazers. These dark sky destinations provide star watchers with a fantastically novel way to experience the intrinsic splendor of distant worlds while sailing on board “star-ship” cruises that stray far afield from the dells of glistening urban city lights.
These enormously invigorating excursions are organized on “deep sea nights” where the cruise ships sail far out to sea and away from a port. An accompanying Stargazing specialist directs most of the events on-board. Apart from experiencing the awe and wonder of a dark sky night, travelers observe wandering planets, distant constellations, bright shimmering star clusters and myriad celestial patterns piercing the great enveloping blackness of deep space.
The eye-catching cruising expedition named “Discovery at Sea” features a host of science-focused activities based on a number of popular television shows. These activities include diving and studying a wide swath of sea life, as well as “stargazing” by night.
Astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi, a visiting professor of Physics associated with the “tour of the sky” program, has been very optimistic about its successful progress.
“The night sky is amazing no matter where you are in the world, but what’s really cool is that it changes from place to place. The thing you can get from a cruise is access to both hemispheres along with a view of star clusters and nebula that you wouldn’t normally be able to see.”
The impact of pollution, oftentimes amplified by blazing city lights, obstructs the typical stargazer’s view of the pristine night sky. Consequently, many people can hardly experience the sight of a clear night sky unobstructed by the sky-glow evident above many bustling urban hubs around the world. An organized deep sea stargazing excursion is one way for many to experience a magnificent array of celestial entities hovering in outer space.
According to experts, several factors determine whether or not a clear glimpse of the night sky can be lavishly experienced. For instance, as one sails away from city shores, celestial objects become increasingly visible to the naked eye. Likewise, the distance north or south of the equator is equally significant in determining the number of observable celestial bodies as well as the length of time within which they can be spotted as they sparkle far and away.
According to Bob Parks from the International Dark-Sky Association, access to deep sea stargazing expeditions allows sailing sky watchers an opportunity to experience some of the most awe-inspiring celestial sights, otherwise inaccessible from their home.
“Overhead at zenith will usually be quite dark as soon as you are 5 to 10 miles away from a brightly lit city. While sky glow may still be visible up to 100 miles from the source, once you are more than 25 miles away, the majesty of the Milky Way will render distant sky glow insignificant.”
Furthermore, the time of year as well as month holds key relevance in determining the types of stars and constellations that can be viewed, as well as the impact of the moon’s brightness above the sky. Cosmic objects namely comets and meteor showers can be staggeringly evident if spotted on a clear dark night.
[Image via Princess.com]