Stargazing

Galaxies and Stars above Ka'anapali Beach
Black Rock at Night
Night Skies above Molokai

Overview

If you’re used to the busy, bright lights of big city life or roam around suburbs of cities like Chicago or New York City, you’re likely being deprived of an entire sky full of wonder come nightfall. Since a vacation is intended to take you away from all of that, the stars come out and play to welcome you.

When you don’t see a moonless sky full of stars that often, and you’re not expecting in on a given night, it just takes one look up and you’re jaw hits the floor. If you plan in right and the weather cooprorates, the anticipation of the black night sky overtaking the remaining dusk of a picturesque sunset can feel like Christmas any time of the year.

As with much everything else in Hawaii, there are professionals and tour guides that will be more than happy to share their knoweldge of the heavens above with you should you wish. Yet, there’s something so enjoyable about reliving that childhood innocense of just laying on your back staring aimlessly at the sky above, letting your mind and imagine wander.

Notes

Breathtaking is probably the best word I can come up with to describe some of the views of the stars you can see from West Maui, and that doesn’t really come close to seeing it for yourself. When you factor in a new moon and a cloudless sky, the sheer number of celestial bodies you can see with just your own eyes is astonishing.

Seeing the stars at night is one thing, but if you’re like me, you definitely want to capture those views of the heavens to share with your friends and revisit anytime, anywhere. With the investment in my Canon Digital SLR camera paying off big time, my trusty tripod and I (and a lot of practice) where able to photograh the skies to extent that I could not have dreamed of. And with the techinique of a longer exposure letting in more and more light over a period of time, there are even more stars and galaxies that are drawn out in your photos that don’t even appear to be visible at first glance.

There are other advantages to seeing the stars in Maui, which I just recently learned. Because the Hawaiian Islands are at a much lower latitude than the mainland, the list of stars and constallations in the Southern Hemisphere that are visible greatly increases. There are actually specialized star charts for the islands as a result. Just another way these fews are so much more special.

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