While city dwellers look up at the night sky and are left staring at a nearly blank atmosphere, occasionally featuring the moving lights of a distant airplane flying by, the Earth and Sky Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand gives stargazers some truly spectacular views of celestial bodies. Located at 1,029 meters above sea level, the observatory is one of four International Dark Sky Reserves in the world whose neighboring town of Lake Tekapo powers down in order to offer an unfiltered view of the night sky.
Due to the masking power of street lamps and other artificial lights, most places don’t get the chance to exhibit the active astronomical views that resident astrophotographers Maki Yanagimachi and Dallas Poll have experienced at this unique location. Visitors are welcome to take in the breathtaking view through Earth & Sky’s Day and Night Tours, which can be booked directly through their website.
In the meantime, check out a time lapse video by Yanagimachi, below, that shows just how amazing the views from Mt. John look at night.