Contact Us

Please fill out the form on the right to contact us.

When completing the form, please include all necessary information so that we can come back to you as efficiently as possible. 

 

UK Tel: +44 1628 522772

SA Tel: +27 21790 1833

Email: holidays@independenttraveller.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regus House, No 1. Bell Street
Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 1BU
UK

+44 (0)1628 522 722

Our imaginative Eclipse tours to Faroe Islands, Indonesia, Tanzania and North America (Wyoming), are designed to give the best viewing opportunities, with expert knowledge and an incredible traveling experience. Our astronomer led and culture-rich astronomy tours provide opportunities to experience unique astronomical events and excellent star gazing in exotic countries. 

As well as set date eclipse and astronomy tours, we also tailor make eclipse and astronomy travel for individuals. 

Astronomy Travel Blog

The Independent Travellers blog takes you on a journey around the world, following their eclipse addiction, mixing astronomy and travel perfectly. 

Check out Gigapixels of Andromeda

Natalie Harman

THIS. WILL. BLOW. YOUR. MIND!

Watch on the biggest, highest-resolution screen you can access!

The Andromeda Galaxy is the 'big sister' galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy - it's about 50% bigger than ours.

 You can see it with your own unaided eyes from a dark sky site - even though it's about 2.5 million light years away. And a light year is almost 6 million miles.... That makes it about 15 million, million, million miles (24 m,m,m, km) away. The reason you can see it without optical aid is that it contains about 200 thousand million stars, each on average like the Sun.

The Hubble Space Telescope took this amazing photo. There is so much detail in it that to try to see it all, you have to zoom in, and in, and in, and in, and in.... (To see all the detail in a printed version, the print would have to be the size of the largest room wall in your house!)

The video starts with the 'naked eye view', then shows the area of the galaxy covered in the photo, and then zooms in on that area, then gradually panning out to the right to the less populated outer edges of the galaxy. Even there, the screen is FILLED with stars - every single little dot is a star, and the faintest ones you can see are about as bright as our Sun.

Then it starts to pan in towards the centre of the galaxy, with the star numbers increasing all the time, until the star images just merge into one another, and the screen becomes white. The darkish patches visible now and again are not absence of stars, but areas of dark dust obscuring the light of most of the stars beyond. The few very bright points of light with the 'spikes' are nearby stars in our own galaxy; the bright patches are globular star clusters (very condensed clusters of stars, about 50,000 stars in each) in the Andromeda Galaxy, like our 'Omega Centauri Cluster', visible to the naked eye from Oz and S.A.

Then it pans out again, to show you what you have just seen.

Most of those stars have planets going around them (although of course we can't see them), and millions of those are bound to be enough like Earth, going round Sun-like stars, to have some form of life on them. And some, almost certainly, have intelligent life. Hopefully, more intelligent than us, when you listen to the news every day!

(If we could image our Milky Way Galaxy from Andromeda, it would look only slightly less impressive than that.) 

Now you know why I'm fascinated by astronomy.....

Terry Moseley

May 2015