Star Gazing in Turks & Caicos

Caribbean Star Gazing

Why You Should Try Stargazing in Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos

There is relatively little ambient light on the island of Provo, which helps provide conditions that are perfect for stargazing. Because of a lack of nighttime city lights, you’re likely to have your view of the sky unhindered. Another advantage is the far southern location. The location is close to the Tropic of Cancer, which makes many constellations readily visible that you might not see in other locations. Eridanus, Canis Minor and Aquarius are very easy to see from this location.

Take a Stargazing Sunset Excursion

Provo hosts sightseeing sunset catamaran trips that offer nighttime stargazing. Many of these boats have a schedule that involves being out on the water just before sunset. If you watch closely around sunset, you might see a green flash. Many of the captains on these cruises  are able to point out the constellations you’re looking for while offering fun information. Most of these cruises last about an hour and include snacks and drinks.

Another feature of some stargazing cruises is the chance to see the glowworms that inhabit the waters around Provo and the other islands of Turks and Caicos. These unique marine worms emit a distinctive green glow when they take part in their mating ritual. The mating cycle takes place a few days after each full moon. Seeing the water light up with the glow from all these worms is an impressive sight that you won’t want to miss.

The Best Weather for Stargazing

Providenciales has a climate that is suitable for stargazing almost all year long. However, even in this island paradise, some nights are better than others for planning a stargazing excursion. Using an astronomy forecast is a good way to determine which nights during your trip are likely to have the best weather. Nights with the lowest percentage of cloud cover and the smallest likelihood of precipitation will help give you the best chances of seeing the constellations that you want to see. If you’ve brought a good camera along, these conditions will also give you an excellent chance to do some astrophotography.

Make Sure You Bring the Essentials

When you’re ready to go, make sure you bring all your essentials. If you aren’t using a telescope, consider using a pair of binoculars, especially if they have good zoom lenses. There are several smartphone apps you can use to spot stars and constellations. This provides a helpful alternative to reading star charts in the dark. If you are out on the beach, bring a beach towel or blanket to spread out beneath you.

Adjusting to the darkness can be difficult after you’ve been around indoor light. However, you’ll see finer details with greater clarity when you stargaze in very dark conditions. Red flashlights can help your eyes to better adjust to the dark. Also, use a red filter on your smartphone screen to cut down on the glare.

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