Here’s how to seek clarity amid the cosmic mysteries of the night sky.
Whether Nat Geo Explorer Munazza Alam travels to a sacred summit in Hawaii or the parched plateaus of Chile, her goal is the same: to seek clarity amid the cosmic mysteries of the night sky. As a graduate student in astronomy and astrophysics at Harvard University, she focuses on exoplanets and the search for extraterrestrial life. Try her tips for better stargazing.
DISAPPEAR INTO THIN AIR
Perched at nearly 14,000 feet, the observatory on top of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea is the world’s largest, with 13 telescopes that attract astronomers from all over. But an awe-inspiring spectacle is visible to the naked eye at the visitors center partway down the slope. “It’s better to stargaze at mid-altitude,” says Alam. “The atmosphere at the summit is so thin our eyes receive less oxygen.”