Meteor Showers and Beyond: Top Observational Sites in Iran

Exploring 'The Best Places to Watch Meteor Showers in Iran' provides an insightful journey into some of the country's most pristine and lesser-known stargazing spots. I am looking for the best sites to see meteor showers in Iran. This guide lists some great places, from quiet deserts to old villages. It's perfect for those who love stargazing in unique settings.
What are the top locations in Iran to watch meteor showers?

The Maranjab Desert, Mesr Desert, and Abuzeydabad Desert are renowned for their clear skies and minimal light pollution, making them ideal for watching meteor showers. Historical caravanserais like Qasr-e Bahram also offer a unique setting for night sky observations.

Deserts typically have low humidity and minimal light pollution, which are crucial for clear sky visibility. This makes them excellent locations for observing meteor showers and the night sky in general.

Yes, several astronomy clubs and travel agencies offer guided tours to prime stargazing locations, especially during peak meteor shower events. These tours often include professional telescopes and expert commentary.

It’s important to bring warm clothing as desert temperatures can drop significantly at night, a comfortable chair or blanket, a flashlight (preferably with a red filter to preserve night vision), snacks, water, and a camera for astrophotography if interested.

To maximize the experience, travel to your chosen spot well before the peak of the meteor shower to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Avoid using your phone or any bright screens during the observation to maintain night vision.

The best times to watch meteor showers in Iran are during the annual peaks of major showers like the Perseids in August, the Geminids in December, and the Quadrantids in January.

Frequently Asked Questions: Watching Meteor Showers in Iran

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In urban life, streetlights, houses, and cars create so much light pollution that the stars appear much less visible. Therefore, those who want to see a clear and starry sky look for the best places to watch meteor showers. Meteor showers occur several times a year. The most famous is the Perseids, which can be seen from mid-July to mid-August. The Orionids can be seen in late October. The Geminids occur in December, and the Quadrantids occur in January. Meteor showers have a specific duration but peak in a single day. Anywhere with low city lights is suitable for viewing meteors. Move away from big cities and go to a place with an open horizon free from light pollution. Then, wait about 20 to 30 minutes to let our eyes adjust to the darkness. There’s no need for professional equipment like telescopes or cameras.

Maranjab Desert

Few places make the stars feel as bright and close as the desert. The Maranjab Desert is located near Kashan and is one of the places welcoming those interested in astronomy and meteor watching. The drive from Tehran to Aran and Bidgol takes about 3 hours. On the Artesh Boulevard of Aran and Bidgol, you will see the sign for the Maranjab Desert. From Aran and Bidgol to the Maranjab Desert, there are about 40 kilometers of dirt road ahead.

Caravanserai of Pasangan

The Caravanserai of Pasangan was built during the Sassanid period. It has been renovated several times and is now a traditional inn. This caravanserai is located on the Qom-Kashan highway. It’s about a half-hour drive from Qom. The advantage of the Pasangan caravanserai is that it provides a comfortable place to stay and has the necessary facilities for sky observation. The caravanserai complex has a traditional dining hall and a souvenir shop. They also organize astronomy tours at the Pasangan Caravanserai.

Caravanserai of Qasr-e Bahram

Near Garmsar, there’s a notable caravanserai named Qasr-e Bahram Caravanserai. This caravanserai dates back to the Sassanid period and is nationally registered. However, environmental permission is required to observe meteor showers and sky gazing here. It’s a 3-hour drive from Tehran to the Qasr-e Bahram Caravanserai and 2 hours from Garmsar. To reach this caravanserai, you must pass through the industrial city of Charmshahr.

Caravanserai of Deh Namak

If you continue from Garmsar towards Aradan, you will arrive at the village of Deh Namak and the Shah Abbasi caravanserai of this village. It’s a little over 2 hours drive from Tehran and 35 minutes from Garmsar. The Deh Namak Caravanserai is a remnant of the Safavid era and is suitable for meteor shower viewing. This caravanserai has recently been converted into an eco-lodge with sufficient accommodation and observation facilities.

Tochal Station 7 Cable Car

Tochal is a hub for mountaineering and skiing. However, on meteor shower nights, astronomy and meteor enthusiasts come here. If we don’t have enough time to leave the city to watch meteors, Tochal’s Station 7 seems like a good option. We must take the cable car to Station 5 and the following line to Station 7. Tochal Hotel is nearby, and we can stay there if we don’t have breathing issues.

Abuzeydabad Desert

Abuzeydabad Desert is located northeast of Kashan, and its historical castles and houses are architecturally significant. This desert also enjoys the unique silence of the desert and the view of flowing dunes. From Tehran to Abuzeydabad Desert, it’s a 4-hour drive. We should take the Tehran-Qom highway. We enter Kashan city after passing Qom and continuing on the Amir Kabir highway or Qom-Kashan road. In Kashan, we enter Qotb Ravandi Boulevard and continue on Mollasadra Boulevard until we reach a fork in the road on the left. We should turn left and continue to go to Abuzeydabad.

Damghan Astronomy Base

With a 4-hour drive from Tehran, we reach Varkian village. The Damghan Astronomy Base is located in Varkian. We first head to Semnan, and 5 kilometers from Damghan, we reach our destination. Varkian Science and Astronomy Base started its work in 2010 and is suitable for watching meteor showers.

Mesr Desert

Mesr Desert is very familiar to nature enthusiasts and has more fans than other deserts in Iran. This desert is also a suitable place to watch meteor showers. Mesr village is part of Khor and Biabanak in Isfahan province, located 45 kilometers east of Jandaq and 60 kilometers north of Khor. Mesr is also known as the sandy sea of the desert.

Ghortan Village

From Tehran to Ghortan Village in Isfahan, it’s roughly five and a half hours. This village is located on the desert road of Varzaneh to Isfahan. The recreational site “Oasis” in the Varzaneh desert is another good option for sky-gazing and meteor shower watching.

Khanqah of Ala'aldoleh Semnani

From Tehran, it’s less than 3 hours to Semnan. In Sufiabad, 5 kilometers away from Semnan, is the Khanqah of Ala’aldoleh Semnani, which offers an open horizon and a clear sky. This Khanqah was the mausoleum of a great mystic named Ala’aldoleh. Coordinating in advance is essential; if we visit unexpectedly, we might not be granted entrance. Traveling with observational tours seems like a good option.

Qaleh Bala Village in Kharturan Region

Qaleh Bala is a beautiful terraced village in the protected area of Kharturan. Apart from its starry sky, what’s great about this place is the availability of an eco-lodge. It’s roughly a 6-hour journey from the village to Tehran, passing through Shahroud and Miami.

Seh Ghaleh Desert

Seh Ghaleh is located in Khorasan Razavi province, 11 hours away from Tehran. Here, one can witness one of the most transparent and starriest skies. There is also an eco-lodge available, so we can be assured of having a suitable place to stay.