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10 Great Camping Spots for Star Gazing


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Big Bend National Park, Texas
You can see the Andromeda Galaxy -- 2 million light-years away -- in Big Bend National Park at night.
You can see the Andromeda Galaxy -- 2 million light-years away -- in Big Bend National Park at night.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Another International Dark Sky Park, you can see nearly 250 miles (402.3 kilometers) on a clear day in Big Bend, which is pretty impressive. But consider this: On a clear night in the park, you can spot the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 2 million light-years away. Besides the Andromeda Galaxy, you can gaze upon 2,000 stars and even find Antares, a reddish star that sits in the constellation of Scorpio [source: National Park Service].

So what makes Big Bend such a great star gazing spot? It's quite remote, for one, which means naturally dark skies. Plus, it rarely clouds over and is blessed with low humidity, which equates to prime viewing conditions. Unfortunately, a whole lot of air pollution floats into the park from Mexico and other parts of the United States during the warm summer months, so winter is the best time to visit. Just bring your coat and keep your eyes open; you don't need a telescope or binoculars to see the show [source: National Park Service].

The park operates three campgrounds, Chisos Basin, Cottonwood and Rio Grande Village; there's also an RV campground with full hook-ups at Rio Grande Village [source: National Park Service].


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