The ethereal beauty of the stars and moon in a brilliantly black sky is often hidden to many people in Atlanta. Light pollution from cars, houses, street lights and other tools of 21st century living can make seeing stars in the night sky impossible. However, there are places in and around Atlanta where stars and the moon are still visible, and still beautiful.
While the 1.2 mile walk-up trail to the summit of Stone Mountain closes at dusk, there are plenty of places within the 3,200 acres of splendid natural beauty in Stone Mountain Park. A great place is on the lawn in front of Confederate Hall. Shortly before or after the Lasershow Spectacular, spread out a blanket and look up. The limited lighting at that time gives visitors a great view.
156 Heaton Park Drive
Atlanta, GA 30307
www.fernbank.edu If the weather or lights of the city won’t allow for outdoor star gazing, there are several indoor options available. One of them is at the planetarium at Fernbank Science Center. Check out their celestial theater combined with cutting-edge technology to create a full immersive event. The planetarium measures 70 feet in diameter, making it one of the largest in the United States. Fernbank Science Center runs unique programs for children and adults throughout the year.
9135 Willeo Road
Roswell, GA 30075
Getting out into nature is one of the best places to get a good view of stars and the moon, so heading to the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell makes perfect sense. From April through September check out their “Sunset Sips” on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Come for the drinks and socializing, stay for the amazing show in the sky as dusk rolls in.
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Howey Physics Building
837 State St.
Atlanta, GA 30332
For anyone who fantasizes about being an astronomy geek for a night, visit the free public observation nights held monthly at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta. Mix with students, scientists and wanna-be astronomers to see the moon, stars and even planets through the 2,500-pound telescope. There is also an open air observation deck which offers a great skyline view as well as a view of the actual sky. Each public observation night also includes a unique astronomical lecture. The public observation nights are only held when the weather is clear, so call ahead to make sure the event is still being held.
Tellus Planetarium And Observatory
Tellus Science Museum
100 Tellus Drive
At the Tellus Science Museum the stars, moon and the rest of the solar system can be seen daily in the Tellus Planetarium. Their state-of-the-art digital projector takes visitors on a journey through the solar system and beyond. Also check out the Tellus Observatory and use their 20-inch telescope to see the moon and planets in the night sky. Bring the whole family for the interactive experiences at Tellus Science Museum. The kids don’t even have to stay up late to see the stars in the sky.
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Maria Smith is an on-the-go mom to 4 children ages 8 and under. In between carpool lines, she’s a freelance writer covering travel, health, and family fun. She was a producer for Oprah in her pre-mom days, but now produces people instead of TV shows. Read more on Examiner.com