Western Australia: The Best View of the Milky Way

Now stargazers can delight, as the canvas of their piece of sky has become larger than ever. Western Australia (WA) has crafted a spectacular Astro- tourism trail through nine towns of its mid-western region. The region’s isolation has helped it win the contract to build the world’s largest telescope, with 13 countries working on it.

Michael Goh, a professional specializing in Astro photography has captured the wondrous universe through his creative lens. And he is not alone in his vocation as a stargazer. Thousands flock to western Australia, trailing the region for their own share of the far stretching universe.

The founder of Astro-tourism WA, Carol Redford, says the state is ideal for viewing the Milky Way because Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world. “That means most of our population is concentrated in just one small spot of our state. It leaves this vast area with a low population and hundreds of welcoming small country towns with low levels of light pollution which makes it better for stargazing. Even our climatic conditions are really great.” Says Mr. Redford.

The regional sky is so well studded, that sophisticated equipment is not necessary for a great photograph says, Goh, whose photographs are officially used promote WA tourism. The region is really benefitting from a tourism boost due to enthusiastic stargazers. Carnamah, 300 kilometres north of Perth, is one of the mid-west towns hoping tourists bring new economic opportunities. The small area that opens to the wide sky is gearing up for more tourists. “The new policy is to make sure any new infrastructure is shielded in a way that we’re still getting full lux [illumination] on the ground for people and safety in the community, but protecting the dark night sky,” said Carnamah shire’s chief executive officer, Karen Oborn