Astronomers on SaharaSky:
The first observatory at the edge of the Moroccan Sahara
Most of us live in areas with high population density and light pollution which obstruct the natural starry sky. There are no city lights around our hotel at the end of the Draa Valley. To provide our guests with a most efficient observation environment, we will turn the lights off in and around the hotel.
The Arabs have been observing the stars above the desert for thousands of years. Many stars were named by Arabs who navigated in the "sea of sand" with the help of the stars. Almost every night in the desert the sky is so clear that you believe you were in space. Observe the planets, millions of stars and distant galaxies with our telescopes.
SaharaSky is the first privately owned astronomical observatory in North Africa installed atop our hotel building on an area of 400m² providing with a full panoramic 360° view. It is home to a rich inventory of telescopes and a complete set of accessories, including Schmidt-Cassegrain and Ritchey Chretien telescopes with up to 16 inches (400mm) aperture and the finest eyepieces.
In case you do not have experience with telescopes, our proficient staff will gladly assist your star trek through sections of the crystal-clear sky above with countless stars, galaxies, nebula, and, of course, the solar system objects.
The Night Sky In the World, provided by the Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute, uses its satellite data to create a color-coded visualization of light pollution. The so produced map at the right shows that SaharaSky is situated in a Dark Sky Zone.
From our southerly vantage of +30° latitude you will be able to see constellations of the southern hemisphere which are out of range in central or northern Europe. We are blessed with a year average of 300 days of clear, cloudless skies in total absence of light pollution.
In our hotel the sky is not limited to night time. In our inventory, we have a special telescope and a special pair of binoculars for safe Sun observation.
For your observations, we provide you with electricity, chairs and working tables for your laptop PCs, or whatever tools you wish to bring in. Our "Star Bar" serves snacks and cooled drinks around the clock. Of course, you are welcome to spend the night on the star terrace from sunset to sunrise to make the most of the unique opportunity of observing under such favorable conditions.
Fritz Gerd Koring
SaharaSky panorama for Stellarium created by Robert Nufer and Manfred Gruenig, Observatory of Basel, Switzerland.