Dark Skies: A Practical Guide to Astrotourism


Witnessing the sweep of the Milky Way, the remains of comets burning up in our atmosphere, or the shimmering aurora, we better understand the universe and our place in it. Lonely Planet’s Dark Skies, the first world’s guide to astrotourism, can help you experience all of this and more first-hand.

This comprehensive companion includes guides to 35 dark-sky sites and national parks, where to see the aurora, the next decade of total solar eclipses and how to view rocket launches, plus the lowdown on commercial space flight, observatories and meteor showers.

Note – Books are available with or without an autograph, please select the version that you would like below.

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Dark Skies is divided into sections to help you plan your dark sky tour:

  1. Stargazing focuses on the basics of appreciating the dark sky, with an overview on how to stargaze and what types of objects to look for, as well as tips for the urban stargazer.
  2. Dark Places is devoted to 35 of the best places around the globe for stargazing and experiencing the night sky, including sites designated by the Dark Sky Association.
  3. Astronomy in Action features some of the world’s top research facilities and observatories,where you can get a closer look at space science.
  4. Meteor Showers has everything you need to know about the most consistent and impressive meteor showers that happen annually.
  5. Aurora is divided into two parts, one focusing on the aurora borealis in the northern hemisphere and the other on the aurora australis in the southern hemisphere.
  6. Eclipses follows the schedule of total solar eclipses over the next decade. If you’ve never experienced totality, here is your definitive guide to planning your trip.
  7. Launches helps you experience a different side of astrotourism: rocket launches and the countries that allow you to travel to see them.
  8. Space Tourism discusses the future of humans in space – including you! The major players in the evolving space tourism market are detailed, plus the world’s most common destinations and experiences.

Read more about how Valerie wrote the book here.

Get your copy of Dark Skies now!

Additional information


Stargazing – a short section with the basics of light pollution, stargazing, and why it’s important
Dark Places – 35 of the darkest stargazing locations around the world
Astronomy in Action – venues and experiences where you can experience astronomical science
Meteor Showers – a breakdown of 12 major meteor showers
Aurora – learn about the best destinations in each country where you can see the northern or southern lights
Eclipses – a breakdown of eclipse science and a schedule of total solar eclipses in the next decade and how to see each one
Launches – details on the countries and locations where rocket launches occur
Space Tourism – my favorite section, all about tourism activities in space!


Lonely Planet is a leading travel media company and the world’s number one travel guidebook brand, providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973. Over the past four decades, we’ve printed over 145 million guidebooks and grown a dedicated, passionate global community of travellers. You’ll also find our content online, on mobile, video and in 14 languages, 12 international magazines, armchair and lifestyle books, ebooks, and more.





About writing the book

Read more here: https://www.valisemag.com/dark-skies/