You do not need to be Neil deGrasse Tyson, and understand how the cosmos works, to have a successful romantic night stargazing with your partner.
Surprisingly, there are just 5 things you need to know about stargazing to really impress your date, sound like an expert and win them over.
But why though is stargazing romantic?
Stargazing is romantic because not only is the night sky beautiful to look at, but it is also filled with stories about love, romance, heroic men, and beautiful maidens. Stargazing whilst wrapped under a blanket is considered by 82% of women to be one the most romantic date nights.
If you want to impress your date, I will share with you 5 great stargazing tips and stories to know and share.
We will also cover some great tips and idea for a successful romantic stargazing night.
How to make stargazing romantic
Making stargazing romantic is all about setting the scene.
Pulling up at a Walmart car park, surrounding by full bins and sirens – under the glare of the fluorescent security lights, is really not going to be very romantic.
Now picture an open back truck, across open fields, with a warm blanket, hot chocolate whilst gazing at the beauty of a clear night sky, watching the moon rise and maybe catching sight of a meteor shower creating a night-time show.
This is the scene we want to act out – open back truck optional of course.
As long as the skies are clear there is so much to see every night of the week. Mythological stories playing every night in the longest running movie known to man.
No matter if it is spring, summer, winter or fall – you will always find something to catch you interest, and always something to amaze you.
If you are new to the hobby of stargazing, we have got your back.
I have been stargazing for over 25 years now and can share with you some jaw dropping tips and insights to help you sound like an expert.
The rest of this post will help explain some of the things you really need to be aware of, some great tips for a romantic date night success and how to find the very best viewing spots for those ‘wow’ moments.
5 Tips to Learn About Stargazing that are Bound to Impress
Whilst you are on your romantic stargazing date night, would it not be great to be able to point out and explain some of the wonderous sights you are looking at.
Sharing the story that the night sky has been presenting down on us for millions of years.
Here are some stargazing facts to that you can use any night, no matter the season:
- Although there are up to 2,000 visible stars to the naked eye that can be seen, every single one of them is in our own galaxy, the Milky Way
- On average, the brighter stars are around 1,000-1,500 light years away (some close and some a lot further) – this means if the star you were looking at tonight suddenly exploded, we would still see the star shining in the sky for the next 1,000-1,500 years until the light from the explosion reached our eyes
- Venus is the brightest object in the sky (excluding the sun and moon of course), and although it is not the closest planet to the sun, it is by far the hottest
- The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest large galaxy to Earth. It is visible every night of the year, clouds willing, in the Northern Hemisphere with the naked eye on a dark night (so look out for it) but if you stood on a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy tonight and had a telescope powerful enough to see what was happening on Earth right now – you would see the dinosaurs walking around!
- This is because of how long it takes the light from Earth to reach the Andromeda Galaxy – 2.5million years!
- A shooting star – if you are fortunate to see one – happens when the Earth passes through the remains of the tail of an ancient comet, as it once passed by Earth. You are seeing an object not much bigger than a grain of sand burn up in our atmosphere, creating a quite spectacular light show!
Clash of the Titans in the Night Sky – How to tell a Romantic Story with the Stars
If you have ever seen either of the two Clash of the Titan films (with Harry Hamlin in 1981 or Sam Worthington in 2010), or have read the book, you will be familiar with the story of Persues.
Persues who took the head of Medusa, as she can turn any living creature into stone, to save the princess Andromeda – with his noble steed Pegasus.
If you go stargazing in the Fall or Winter, the stars tell the story quite beautifully and romantically.
Pegasus rises first in the East – the square pattern of the constellation making it one of the easiest constellations to find – followed by hero Persues, holding his sword in the air with one hand, and the head of Medusa with the other.
Andromeda follows behind Persues, as he races across the night sky to save her.
You will also get to see Cassiopeia – or Queen Cassiopeia as she would have been known – as a very distinguishable ‘W’ shape in the night sky, just above our heroes of the day.
To help you along, here are the constellations you are looking for – each one very easy to spot in the night sky as the stars of these constellations are some of the brightest you will see.
How to find Perseus, Pegasus, Andromeda, and Cassiopeia on a romantic stargazing night
All four constellations are easy to find, and right next to each other.
They are only visible between October and January in the Northern Hemisphere – although Cassiopeia can be seen for a lot longer throughout the year.
Here are some constellation images we put together that will help you:
Hopefully, these images will help you spot the constellations and tell the story. Pegasus is probably the easiest constellation to find because of the easy to distinguish shape.
If you do find a great dark spot just remember the stars come alive. So many more stars will be visible, and it can take some time to find the recognizable stars and constellations you usually see with ease from your back yard.
When is the best time to go stargazing with your partner?
The beauty of stargazing is that it really is a great thing to do any time of the year.
You of course need to make sure you have a clear night; clouds can be rather troublesome to stargazers.
You may also want to check what stage the moon is in. The moon being as bright as it is, has a habit of washing out the night sky making it harder to spot the feinter stars.
With a full or bright moon in the sky, the chances of seeing the Andromeda Galaxy without a telescope are all but close to zero.
The moon though can add a romantic blue hue glow across the land. It also means the moonlight will make sure it is not completely dark, especially if you are in a more secluded area.
If you can, I would suggest your romantic date night out under the stars happens when the moon is in a ‘new’ stage, and not visible at night. You can check the current moon stage for tonight here.
The stars will look amazing, you’ll possible see the milky way draping across the Earth and possibly a shooting star or two!
How romantic is that!
Tips for a Winning Romantic Stargazing Date Night
Here are some great tips to help you make the most of your romantic stargazing night and make it a full-on success.
- Check the weather forecast in advance – you will need a moonless and cloudless night for the best viewing
- Find a great location. Use Google Earth and Google Maps to find great viewing points away from artificial street and city lights.
- Make sure you have a clear viewpoint of the sky towards the South – this is where a lot of the main and best night sky sights can be found
- If it is a cold night be prepared for the elements. A warm coat, gloves, hot drink in a thermos all will become necessary. It can get much colder at night than in the daytime.
- It can take up to 20 minutes before your eyes become fully adjusted to the night sky. If you look at a strong white light, such as a torch or mobile phone, you will need to wait another 20 minutes before your eyes become adjusted again – although you should not be checking your cell phone on a romantic date anyway!
- Take a pair of binoculars if you have them. A standard pair of 10x50s will be fine.
Best apps for finding your way around the stars
If you are planning a night under the stars, it would be really useful to know what you’re looking at.
Otherwise, you will just be looking at a lot of white dots, not knowing if you are looking at a star, planet, constellation, or galaxy.
Fortunately, there are a lot of great free apps out there that will turn your cell phone or tablet in to a planetarium!
Some apps allow you to point your cell phone towards the night sky, and the app will recognize and tell you what you are looking at!
Here are some of the apps I have tried and tested:
- Star Walk 2
- SkySafari 6
There are others of course, but these are the three I have tried and used, and therefore can recommend doing a great job, and will help you find your way around the stars as well as giving you lots of insights and information on the stars and objects you are looking at.
Best Locations for a Romantic Stargazing Night
The best locations for a romantic stargazing night are as far away from artificial light as possible!
Some people living in big cities have never seen the Milky Way. It is just not visible. Such a shame, as it is one of the most beautiful natural sights around.
A few years back during a black out in New York, the law enforcement office received many calls over strange lights in the sky.
It turns out what they were seeing was the Milky Way for the first time!
This is the power of light pollution. It washes out the sky and leaves any night object not bright enough to penetrate its glare invisible.
National parks are some of the darkest regions in the US. There are many more open spaces in the West and Mid-West of the US with truly dark skies. The East Coast full of large cities creates a lot of light pollution, but it is possible to see the brightest stars from almost anywhere.
If you can also get to a higher elevation and have a chance to see the horizon towards the East, you will have a chance of seeing much more of the sky.
You will get the best views when you have a clear 360 degree view of the horizon.
Why Stargazing is Romantic – Wrap Up
Here is a summary of everything we have covered in this post:
- Stargazing is romantic because of the beauty the night sky has to offer anyone who take the time to explore the wonders it beholds to us, every night for free
- Learn some of the constellations, and night sky facts, to really impress your date
- Get a great viewing spot, as high as possible and away from light pollution of cities and towns
- Plan ahead. Check the weather forecast, look for a moonless night, dress for the elements and always have a flashlight to hand
- A free stargazing app can help you find your way around the night sky with ease