Look up and feast your eyes on the star-filled Małopolska sky! Not just on Asteroid Day!

A starry summer sky over Lake Czorsztyńskie
Are asteroids and planetoids celestial bodies? Can they be seen with the unaided eye? Are they dangerous to planet Earth? The holidays are the perfect time to stop for a bit, look up, reflect and marvel at the spectacle the starry firmament offers us. Discover with us the mysteries of the skies above Małopolska!

Asteroids Day – over Małopolska

International Asteroids Day, a holiday established by the United Nations to make us aware of, among other things, the possibility of a large asteroid hitting the Earth and its consequences, was celebrated on 30 June. Although this phenomenon is real and the possibility of it happening does exist,  astronomers keep a close eye on everything that happens in the skies, and until they tell us otherwise, we have no need to worry.

We will just mention that on 29 June a rare flyby of asteroid 2024 MK occurred near our planet. It is 158 metres in diameter and approached the Earth at about 0.77 of the average distance to the Moon, so it was really close! In comparison, on 30 June, two other asteroids flew by at distances of 5 and 10 mean distances to the Moon. What would happen if asteroid 2024 MK had struck the Earth? It would have blasted a crater about 3 km in diameter and caused severe damage within a 35 km radius.

However, it’s much better to focus on pleasant things. Join us for a night walk through those places in the Małopolska region where conditions for stargazing and astronomical phenomena are at their best. Get ready for an unforgettable spectacle with or without a professional spotting scope or telescope!  The holidays are the perfect time to become more familiar with the heavens above Małopolska.

Gorce – the highest-situated observatory in Poland!

Is there a better place to admire the constellations than the surroundings of Poland's highest astronomical observatory? Of course not. So, where do we find this gem? In the Gorce Mountains, on Mt Suchora (1,000 metres above sea level).

In the Gorce National Park, due to the small number of buildings and the lack of car traffic, it is really dark at night, which makes it much easier to get a really good look at the stars. Mt Suchora can be accessed via the green trail from Koninki. The hike should take at most 2 hours. At the summit, a clearing of the same name offers a fantastic view of the Wyspowy Beskid, the Gorce and the Babia Góra Range during the day. At night, it is possible to view numerous constellations.

Equally beautiful experiences can be expected on the summit of Mt Lubań, the Łapsowa Glade, and on the king of the Gorce peaks – Mt Turbacz. Here, all you have to do is move away from the shelter lights, e.g., to the vicinity of Hala Turbacz or Hala Długa, spread out a soft blanket, lie down and gaze up at the sky .

We also have an interesting tip for camping fans:  there is a campsite at the ‘Gorc’ Student Tent Base on Mt Gorc. You can come with your tent or hire one on-site. Imagine staying overnight in such a place and the unlimited possibilities for stargazing. Just move away from the campfire to make the sky look even more phenomenal.

Mt Babia  – sunrise and a sky full of stars

Mt Diablak, as this majestic mountain is called, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Małopolska region. Here, you can have breakfast at the most beautiful sunrise you could ever imagine. Although it is famous for the vagaries of its weather vagaries is often shrouded in clouds, this does not deter tourists. And rightly so. After all, a strong wind can chase away the visibility-limiting clouds in a second, and behold, you now have a perfectly clear sky.

Mt Babia, for one thing, is a high peak, so we are close to the starry sky. Secondly, you’ll be well above the treeline on the summit, and will enjoy a fabulously expansive and unobstructedview.  Photographers have captured the charm of the sky above Mt Diablak for years,  and their photographs always make an incredible impression.  Of course, you’ll see many more details and colours inthe night sky if you have an optical instrument of some kind. , The most convenient thing to do is to take a pair of powerful binoculars with you. Even with the unaided eye, however, you will see limitless numbers of shimmering stars and the Milky Way spanning the whole of the heavens. And these sights will stay in our memories and hearts for a long time. For this reason alone, it is worth undertaking the challenging trek, always bearing in mind the safety rules, of course, because the mountains aren’t quick to forgive mistakes.

Kasprowy Wierch – not just a night of shooting stars

Mt Kasprowy Wierch is one of Poland's most popular peaks. It is the site of the High-Mountain Meteorological Observatory and the destination of expeditions for all those who like to be closer to the stars. Although the mountain is as capricious as Mt Diablak, often wreathed in clouds, it also  rewards the hardships of conquering it. When the weather is fine and you’re standing on a spot 1,987 metres above sea level, you  feel like you’re on top of the world  beneath the limitless  star-filled sky.

You can get to Mt Kasprowy Wierch independently by choosing one of five routes. The trail from Kuźnice takes about 3.5 hours, while longer trails – about 7 hours – lead through Hala Gąsienicowa or Czerwone Wierchy. Anyone who prefers a quicker and easier solution can use the cable car. Remember, however, that it only runs until 6.30 pm. So if you want to watch the stars above Mt Kasprowy Wierch, you’ll need to be able to rely on your feet. And we remind you to be properly equipped, as the weather in the mountains is unpredictable.

Mt Kasprowy Wierch is one of the most highly-recommended places for nighttime observation. Many photographers and astronomy enthusiasts go here every year to admire the most famous of all meteor showers – the Perseids.  The 'shooting stars' will be the most visible on the night of 12–13 August, with the densest swarms in the hours just before morning. Put this date on your calendar and be entranced byone of the greatest cosmic spectacles in the nighttime sky.

Beskid Niski – close to the stars!

When we look at the so-called light pollution map, the Beskid Niski appears to be the only place in the Małopolska region unaffected by light pollution. That means that the sky here is the darkest and with the greatest depth. Here, then, is the wildest and most tranquil Beskid in Małopolska. Nature, dense forests, and vast meadows make it the perfect place to observe the night sky.

In the Beskid Niski, you’d be so eager to marvel at the countless constellations that you would be tempted to lie down in the first meadow you come across. But if you did that, you’d miss out on the really good stuff. That's why we have some suggestions for night hikes. The peaks of the Beskid Niski are not very high, but so-called civilisation is nowhere to be seen, andthey have the most beautiful meadows, which is their greatest asset.

First, we invite you to Mt Jawor. After a rather steep hour-long climb, the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God and the historic cemetery will come into view. Just behind them, after only a few dozen metres,  is a clearing overlooking the Slovakian part of the Beskid Niski with its highest peak, Busov (1002 m.a.s.l.).  If the sky is cloudless and there is no moon, the heavens at night here will take your breath away.

If we choose the area around Bieliczna – a depopulated Lemko village at the foot of Mt Lackowa – the sky will also offer us an unusual spectacle. We do not recommend a night hike to the heavily forested Mt Lackowa (997 m.a.s.l.), but the wide valley of the Bieliczna River and the incredibly deep darkness are ideal for observing the night sky.

We also have a proposal for all those who want to experience something mystical. This is a trip to Mt Rotunda, near the World War I cemetery. You only need to see one photograph of this site in order to get a sense of what this mystique is all about. The walk to Mt Rotunda is quick, but be advised, it is pretty steep. The cemetery, the crosses and the deep black sky 'emerging' from the dense forest are hugely impressive. This is an expedition for those who like adrenaline!

What about tourists who want to see the Milky Way and the Big Dipper but prefer to avoid night hikes and the need to climb peaks? To all of them, we suggest a trip to agrotourism farms in the Beskid Niski. Nowica, Ropki, Wołowiec, Gładyszów and the areas around these villages offer ideal conditions for observers of the black night sky. In what place is itthe darkest? In our opinion, in Ropki.  It is an small, cozy village inside a dense forest. Just step out onto the porch in the evening or at night and the stars will be at your fingertips.

And if you’ve ever dreamt of seeing the nighttime stars reflected on the surface of the lake? Here you go. This is your place. All you need to do is go to Lake Klimkówka. Surrounded by woods and rolling hills, it is the ideal place to observe the stellar harvest in the water and the sky.

Małopolska skies – what  awaits us in summer?

Asteroids Day is not only a reminder of all the things that are out there inspace, it’s an excellent opportunity to spend some time actually looking up, and pondering the world beyond our planet. it’s an excellent opportunity to spend some time actually looking up, and pondering the world beyond our planet. Living in a super-busy city full of lights, we often fail to see and appreciate what is above us. And yet, the sky sometimes looks different.  In fact, something changes every day.

Małopolska, with its many picturesque corners, tempts with ideal conditions for night-time observations. From Poland's highest observatory in the Gorce Mountains, through the majestic Mt Babia, to the wild and tranquil glades of the Beskid Wyspowy and Beskid Niski – eachlocation promises an unforgettable experience. These are, of course, only a few suggestions, as the starry sky can be found over the whole of Małopolska, even going a few kilometres beyond the illuminated towns and villages. Whichever location you choose, one thing is sure – the night sky of Małopolska always offers a magical spectacle that will take your breath away.

In the summer, we can see silver clouds and observe 'shooting stars' that grant wishes. It's a phenomenon that continues to intrigue scientists and which, with any luck, will be visible by the end of August. Discover the starry sky over Małopolska with us!

There are plenty of astronomical surprises and phenomena to observe this summer:

⇒ 5 July at 5.06 a.m. – The Earth will be at its most distant position from the Sun (Aphelium),

⇒ second half of July – evenings will offer the best conditions for observing Mercury, which is low over the horizon,

⇒ 21 July – Full Moon,

⇒ 28 July – maximum number of meteors from the swarm of South Delta Aquarids,

⇒ 30 July – it will be possible to observe the Moon in conjunction with Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, the Pleiades and the Hiades. It will be repeated on 27 August around 4.00,

⇒ 19 August – Full Moon,

⇒ 18 September – The Moon will be full and at the same time at perigee, i.e., it will become a Supermoon.


Download free VisitMałopolska app
Apple iOS
Windows Phone

Related Assets