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15 Of The Most Breathtaking Night Skies You’ll Regret Not Seeing

15 Of The Most Breathtaking Night Skies You’ll Regret Not Seeing

No matter where you are on Earth, you don’t have to travel far to see one of the worlds most beautiful night skies.

“All you need to do to enjoy the night sky is find some darkness and tilt your head back.” – Melissa Breyer, Mother Nature Network

But, not all skies are created equal. Some places on Earth offer a view that can knock you off your feet.

Go ahead and make a travel bucket list, and add these 15 breathtaking night skies to your list.

La Palma, Canary Islands

LaPalmaSky
    Stargazing in La Palma from NikonRumors.

    The entire volcanic island of La Palma, part of Spain’s Canary Island, is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. Currently, the worlds largest telescope, the Gran Telescopio de Canarias, is located in La Palma. It’s become one of the premier night skies observatories on Earth.

    Atacama Desert, Chile

    The night skies in Chile.
      Atacama Desert stargazing from National Geographic.

      The Atacama desert is home to several observatories- and for good reason. It offers unbelievable views of the night sky. While walking around the red-rock desert and looking into the universe, you may just feel like you’re exploring Mars.

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      The Sahara Desert, Egypt

      The night sky over Sahara Desert.

        The Sahara Desert takes up a whopping 10% of the African continent. It’s so big and so hot, that it’s one of the largest uncivilized places on Earth. That means it’s a stargazers heaven, with no intrusive light to be found.

        Namibia-Naukluft National Park, Namibia Desert

        The night sky over the Namibia Desert.
          Namibia Desert sky via Epic Road.

          Do you see the pattern here? Being far away from civilization means a purer way to see the night sky. This desert is perfectly flat, and offers a 360 degree view of the horizon.

          The Empty Quarter, Arabian Peninsula

          Stars over an observatory in the Empty Quarter.
            The Empty Quarter photo from BBC.

            This desert takes up the southeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. It gets its name because, you guessed it, it’s almost completely empty of people.

            The Himalayas, Kuari Pass India

            A camp site under the stars in the Himalaya Mountains.
              The Himalayas under the stars via National Geographic.

              Imagine the peaks of the world’s largest mountains up against a backdrop of a billion stars. That’s what you get on the Kuari Pass, a popular trail known because it’s the meeting place of five rivers.

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              Hawaii, USA

              Observatory on Hawaii Island.
                Observatory Photo of Hawaii Island from Space.Com.

                The island of Hawaii is the tallest sea mountain on the planet, giving its night skies a unique feel. No where else on Earth are you so high, surrounded by water, AND the heavens. That’s why this star gazing location is home to 11 different countries’ observatories.

                Gingin Observatory, Western Australia

                Gingin observatory in Australia.
                  Gingin Observatory from Robert Ozod.

                  Western Australia is a big place. But the best place to see the night skies is only an hour north of Perth’s city centre.

                  Gingin is the largest public observatory in Australia.

                  Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania, USA

                  Cherry Springs State Park at night.
                    Photo from Photos From Earth.

                    This park was the first listed in Newsiosity’s list of “The 20 Most Spectacular Places on Earth to See the Stars.”

                    The distinct features of this state park make it ideal for those seeking out serious night skies. Most importantly, the location of the park is perfectly positioned to view the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

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                    Connemara, Ireland

                    Connemara Ireland at night.
                      Photo of Connemara, Ireland from Connemara Journal.

                      One of the most western sites in Europe that isn’t spoiled by urban growth. Connemara has become a hotspot for sky gazers because of this, and a lot of accommodation exists here. This is the perfect European destination for a quaint life and seeing the best night skies.

                      Wiruna, New South Wales, Australia

                      Comet flying through the Sky in New South Wales.
                        A comet in the Australia sky from WikiPedia.

                        The second site from Australia to come in on this list has an annual party for stargazers. Yup, whether you’re an amateur or an astrologist, every year in May you’re invited to the South Pacific Star Party. Which is a pretty adorable name for a festival.

                        Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

                        A stock photo of tenerife night sky

                          The Canary Islands aren’t big in the grand scheme of Earth. However, they still hold two of our top 15 spots for stargazing. For a different kind of star gazing experience, check out Tenerife.

                          Rather than going deep into the wild, or on a secluded mountain top, Tenerife happens to be a luxurious vacation spot that happens to have one of the worlds best observatories.

                          You can even go on a beach-picnic trip and learn about the night skies.

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                          Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah, USA

                          Utah Natural Bridges at night.

                            Natural Bridge in Utah via Places Under the Sun.

                            In 2007, Natural Bridges National Park was named the first dark sky park in the world by the International Dark-Sky Association. What does that mean for non-astrologists? It means that this is the first park in the world recognized by an international star-gazing group for its beautiful night skies.

                            Monte-Magantic Park, Quebec, Canada

                            The observatory in Qubec Canada

                              A photo of the observatory in Quebec, Canada via ricemm.org.

                              If urban-exploring is your type of trip, but you still want to see a breathtaking night sky, then Quebec might be your next vacation. Located not far from Quebec City, this park has an observatory, offers cabins, and stargazing activities. It is also a hot spot for families who just want to be under the night skies.

                              Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

                              A photo of Joshua Tree State Park at Night

                                A photo of Joshua Tree State Park via Flickr.

                                Joshua Tree National Park boasts some of the darkest nights in Southern California. It also offers some of the best views of the Milky Way on Earth.

                                Whether you live in California, or you’re just visiting, this is the best place to see the night skies in the southwestern corner of the US.

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                                Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                Video Summary

                                Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                  1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                  Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                  • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                  • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                  • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                  • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                  2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                    Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                    Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                    3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                      Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                      4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                        Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                        A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                        A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                        On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                        5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                          Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                          6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                            Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                            7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                              Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                              How to hold a plank position

                                              1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                              2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                              3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                              4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                              5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                              6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                              7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                              Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                              Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                • Prolapse
                                                • After prolapse surgery
                                                • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                • Previous childbirth
                                                • Overweight

                                                Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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