3 March 2020
Today, we are very happy to share with you the testimony of Chihiro Yamaguchi, chief editor of the Japanese magazine reflexions.jp, who is passionate about astronomy like Frédéric and Demid, founders of the Out of NowHere brand.
The reportage he made during his 4-night stay at Sweet Gobi and Ursa Major organized by the Japanese travel agency Wild Navi on the initiative of the Mongolian agency Dark Sky is magnificent. Many thanks to him!
Chihiro Yamaguchi’s detailed report and its impressive photos convey an exhaustive picture of his experience and highlight the exceptional conditions of our camps for stargazing, far away from any light pollution.
His Sky Quality Meter showed 23.62 SQM, a value he had never obtained before (22 SQM being the optimal condition). This allowed him to take beautiful pictures of the Milky Way with a very short exposure time of 10 minutes. According to him, the best time to observe the stars in Mongolia is between September and October, since these are the driest months and, therefore, guarantee a clear sky.
When observing the stars, he noticed differences related to the variation in latitude with Japan but it is especially the beauty of the sunsets and the darkness of the sky that impress our traveller.
Before his trip, the Japanese traveller expected the Mongolian steppe to be an arid desert: instead, he discovered a varied landscape and an extremely rich oasis, inhabited by many animals moving through infinite spaces. He noticed that except for the camels, the four other “domesticated” snouts (sheep, goats, horses, cows) all have given names to Mongolian constellations, a sign that nomads have been living their life according to the rhythm of the celestial vault since very ancient times.
Concerning the comfort of our campsites, our visitor was seduced by the quality and the variety of the food which, according to him, has nothing to envy to the hotels of the capital. He found the yurts spacious and comfortable and was very enthusiastic about the Step & Spa concept (effective hot towels and very clean dry toilets) which reminded him of his stays in the Japanese mountains. He recommends our lodges even to people who usually prefer the comfort of the city.
On our side, thanks to this beautiful testimony we keep our head in the stars. We want to host more and more astro-themed trips, as it was our dream when we acquired the professional telescope MEADE LX200 ACF and developed research and collaborations related to Mongolian cosmogony, intangible heritage of nomadic culture, with the Observatory of the University of Ulaanbaatar or the Uranoscope of France.
Many thanks again to Chihiro Yamaguchi and the Japanese agency Wild Navi who recommended us. We hope with all our heart to welcome again our Japanese friends this year, for the second edition of this astronomical trip.