Tag Archives: dark sky tourism

Top tips for stargazing in 2020

Did you know Sal Salis has some of the darkest night skies around?

We are nestled into the Cape Range National Park, miles from any other light sources. We keep lighting to a minimum, dining by candlelight and giving guests a lantern to find their way back to their tents; so you can really experience the stars and the Milky Way in all their glory.

A woman stand under a starry sky with a headtorch

If you’ve never seen a truly dark sky and witnessed the Milky Way, the nights at Sal Salis are going to blow you away. You don’t need to be an astronomer to enjoy these amazing sky shows, they’re just as impressive viewed from the deck of your tent with a glass of wine in hand.

We do have a telescope here in the Lodge, so if you’re keen to know more, just ask one of our camp guides and they’ll happily point out some of the main constellations and planets for you.

Here are some of our top stargazing tips:

  • Stargazing is best done before the full moon, so if you’re super-keen to see the best starry night skies, check the phase of the moon before you plan your trip!
  • If you want to try your hand at some astrophotography, make sure you bring your DSL camera, your kit zoom lenses and a tripod. The tripod allows for a stable platform so you can shoot at a really long exposure. Use manual mode, a fast aperture of F/2.8-F/4 and set the ISO to the highest level you can. Change the shutter speed to slow and exposure length to 15-30 seconds.
  • There are some great in-depth tips for astrophotography here.

AstroTourism has also shared with us their top tips for stargazing events in 2020:

January and February

It’s a great time of the year to see two galaxies in the southern night sky and you don’t even need binoculars or a telescope! The Magellanic Clouds can be seen with the naked eye. Kick back on the beach and enjoy. When’s the best time to see the Magellanic Clouds?

March

Turn your attention towards the outback landscape in the east. Watching a Supermoon rising is getting more and more popular each year. Choose a favourite location where you can see clearly to the eastern highway and you’re all set for a great evening out. What is a Supermoon and when does it rise?

April and May

This is Western Australia’s most iconic constellation. It’s on the flag and in our hearts! Did you know it can only be seen from the Southern Hemisphere? Starting this month, you can track it over time as it graces the southern skies. How do you find the Southern Cross?

June

Milky Way Season has just begun! If you’ve never seen the Milky Way on a moonless night in country WA, June and the months either side are the perfect time to experience it. Sometimes this thick band of stars look so close, you could almost reach out and touch them. The Milky Way is simply stunning…

July

The Southern delta-Aquarids Meteor Shower occurs at a good time to try and spot some meteors (or “shooting stars”). There’s no moonlight at the time of the meteor shower’s peak which makes it easier to see more meteors as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. How many can you count?

August

Most of us know about the saucepan in the sky. That’s part of the constellation of Orion. Did you know there’s also the shape of teapot in the sky? See if you can find the teapot in Sagittarius…

September

Did you know that Mercury is visible with the naked eye? It is easy to see it this month in the early evening sky! There’s a great time this month to spot the closest planet to the Sun.

October

It’s definitely a treat at Halloween this year! In WA, there are two full Moons in October. They are both what’s popularly known as Micromoons! We’re in for a Micro Blue Moon on Halloween! What is a Micromoon and when does it rise?

November

To see the Andromeda Galaxy you need a very dark night sky. Sal Salis is the perfect location! Andromeda is 2.5 million light years away and they say it is the most distant object visible to the human eye! Will you be able to see Andromeda?

December

A spot of summer night stargazing is a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the year. Get ready for the busy Christmas Day by spending a lovely time out under the stars. On Christmas Eve you’ll spot three of the brightest planets in the evening sky. Where will Mars appear?

2023

In April 2023, Sal Salis is in the path of a total solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, totally or partly obscuring the sun from our vision. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the sun’s and all direct sunlight is blocked, turning day into darkness.

Are you tempted to see the beauty of a Ningaloo Reef sky? Book your escape with us today and make it a reality.

 

Stargazing at Sal Salis

We may be biased, but we think our location is pretty unbeatable. We’re nestled in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park, on the shores of the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park and in a designated Dark Sky area. What does that trifecta mean for you? Well, you can access unspoilt, rugged ranges and gorges, swim in crystal clear water teeming with marine life, and see a sky full of stars.

Whilst many of our guests are aware of the national parks, the Dark Sky Area is something a little more unexpected. According to some scientists, we will struggle to see the stars in some parts of the world by 2025. The effects of light pollution are getting so bad that UNESCO now wants to include the sky at night as part of our human heritage because it is such a wonderful sight to behold.

If you have been fortunate enough to see the stars on a bright summer’s night, you will find it hard to believe that this amazing spectacle will no longer be there for future generations to see. And yet that’s exactly what will happen if too much artificial light prevents us from seeing the stars at night.

Sal Salis is located in a designated Dark Sky area, where uninterrupted views of the milky way will astound you. Seriously, the stars here are something that our guests say will stay with them forever.

Stargazing ignites a child-like curiosity and wonder in adults. It encourages us to think bigger and look at the world around us. It’s something that can be almost meditative and can be enjoyed alone, or as part of a group.

Our biggest hope for our guests is that they can reconnect with nature and switch off from the modern world when they stay with us. From the lack of wifi, to our compostable toilets and dinners by candle-light, this is a place to disconnect and reconnect. The starry night sky is the cherry on top when it comes to reflecting and relaxing.

If you’re planning ahead, in April 2023, Sal Salis is in the path of a total solar eclipse.  A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, totally or partly obscuring the sun from our vision.  A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the sun’s and all direct sunlight is blocked, turning day into darkness. This is sure to be an amazing sight for any keen astronomers.