April 8 total solar eclipse: The best places to stargaze near the path of totality

Eclipse chasing and stargazing are made for each other. A total solar eclipse — which will be visible in parts of North America on April 8 — can happen only during a new moon, when our natural satellite moves between Earth and the sun. Besides causing an eclipse, this arrangement also means that the moon is in the daytime sky, which means there’s no moonlight at night. That makes the nighttime skies around an eclipse perfect for stargazing and astronomy. (Here are four astronomical observatories and telescopes in the path of the eclipse.)

However, clear night skies are not guaranteed on April 8; a lack of moonlight at night is one thing, but light pollution can easily squander precious darkness around a new moon and ruin potential stargazing.

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