Make the most of long summer evenings with a spot of stargazing...
1 August 2019
Balmy summer evenings offer the perfect opportunity to share a special moment with friends and family: gazing up at the starry sky. Young and old take equal pleasure in observing the night sky, spotting shooting stars, the North star or even planets. How can you make the most of it? What accessories are essential for a successful evening? What is the best time of the summer to do it? Discover our tips and tricks for enjoying a truly magical evening of stargazing.
What is the best way to enjoy the night sky?
Another beautiful summer's day has drawn to a close, and there is not a cloud in the night sky. Everybody is taken with the idea of stargazing. In your garden, on your terrace, at the poolside... What better way to spend a summer evening than watching the stars! To enjoy this precious moment and the beauty of the stars to the full, there are some conditions to be met. Ideally, the sky should be clear. Turning off the lights in the surrounding area will limit the sources of light pollution. Don't forget that it takes a moment to adjust to the dark.
Essential stargazing accessories
Even if it is a beautiful summer night, the temperature may still drop once night has fallen. To fully enjoy your stargazing, we recommend that you wrap up warm. We would suggest a gilet or fleece jacket. You may even want to tuck a blanket over your legs. You can already enjoy a vast number of stars in the night sky with the naked eye. The different shades of colour are fascinating. If you have a pair of binoculars, you will be all the more captivated. A multitude of celestial objects will suddenly be visible, much to your greater enjoyment. To help you identify the different stars and planets correctly, you can get a map of the sky (either on paper or through an application on your mobile phone or tablet). And remember to note the cardinal points so you don't get lost!
The best times of the summer to watch the sky
Summer is known as the best season for stargazing. It is also the ideal time to watch for shooting stars. The "Nuits des étoiles" (Starry Nights), an annual national event in France which began in 1991, are the ideal time to watch the Milky Way cross the starry sky. If you'd like to join in, keep the nights of 2, 3 and 4 August 2019 free. Are you an avid spotter of shooting stars? If so, late July to mid-August are when meteor showers tend to peak. Stargazing also offers the opportunity to see the International Space Station whizz past. Like a very bright star moving across the dark sky, it is easy to see with the naked eye. Don't forget to download a free application on your mobile phone beforehand so you can identify it easily.