Light pollution is restricting most people from ever seeing the Milky Way from the Earth.

Is there any place in India where I can see the Milky Way?

Is there a database or site with the list of all places where I can see it?

Also, how can we calculate that?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Search for the constellations of Sagittarius and Scorpius and when they rise over the horizon (on the norther hemisphere in summer, how high depends on your latitude). The galactic centre is very bright when observed from an Atlantic island, but you won't see it from outside of a heavy populated area. As a refernce, it is shown here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorpius#/media/File:ScorpiusCC.jpg $\endgroup$
    – a_donda
    Apr 15, 2020 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ Here is a global light pollution map: darksitefinder.com/maps/world.html#4/23.60/54.27 Not sure how good the data for India we have, but I've had decent success in the US. $\endgroup$
    – Prithvi Thakur
    Apr 15, 2020 at 13:08
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    $\begingroup$ india.mongabay.com/2019/01/… $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Apr 15, 2020 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ great question that will be useful to many other people! $\endgroup$
    – dtn
    Dec 14, 2023 at 8:35
  • $\begingroup$ In addition to choosing a location far enough away from the lights of a town, make sure that at the time of night when you will be observing the Milky Way, the Moon is below the horizon. $\endgroup$
    – Albert
    Dec 14, 2023 at 9:01

2 Answers 2


Wherever you have a dark place, you can see the Milky Way. Anywhere in the countryside, far from large cities might work. And it doesn't need to be a very far away - a few km may do the work, specially if there are some hills in between.


Most light pollution is scattered in the lower 6000 ft of the atmosphere (one mile) so you don't need to get terribly far from a city to get "out from under" the scatter. I live 30 miles (over water) from a city of 1.5 million. In my area, star visibility is limited by atmospheric conditions, not light pollution. Under good conditions, the Milky Way is visible in detail.

Because light pollution is low altitude, getting a mountain between you and the pollution source is very effective. We have a narrow fiord nearby with 3000ft mountains. The sky is absolutely spectacular, like the best photographs.

Anywhere on the ocean is great, too. Once you are 20 miles offshore, stars are visible right down to a hard cut-off at the horizon


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