Starsick travelers lost in the glow of Korea’s neon lights are encouraged to head to Daejeon Observatory for a night. Pierce through the yellow-hued cloud cover with the huge 25cm refractive telescope. Watch as Mars, Venus and Jupiter soar along their astral orbits. Marvel at star-forming nebulae, and on exceptionally clear nights, explore the backbone of night: a view of billions of stars at the center of the Milky Way.
During the day visitors can peer through the lens to view the sun up close. Resident specialists are always willing to inspire despite a general lack of English fluency. The computerized telescope allows users to observe celestial bodies with ease by entering a date and name, a modern function preventing hours of blind searching. Early birds who are considering visiting this month should come during the morning on November 14th, when the telescope will focus on an eclipse of the sun.
The weekend presents a menagerie of events set to thrill regardless of weather. Frequent musical concerts are held in the planetarium, where art and science meet to reveal swirling galactic visuals set to affecting shows by performers; September saw a flute ensemble and “unplugged” poetry event. The observatory’s movie night showcases science fiction movies and documentaries catering to all age groups. The planetarium, observation decks and scattered astrological information are as entertaining as they are educational and provide a great insight into Korea’s celestial past.
It’s this distinct marriage of knowledge and fun that sets Daejeon Observatory as the destination in Korea’s science capital. To get there, take bus number 604 to the observatory stop. Tuesday – Sunday 2 pm and 10 pm (individual facilities subject to change each month). #7-13 Sinseong-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon.