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What We Offer


Thanks for your interest in my star tours. My tours last about two
hours, usually starting at 9:30pm or sometimes 6:00pm/6:30pm in the winter. The first half we do naked eye observing of the sky, identifying constellations, learning star lore, understanding how the sky works; the second half we go to the telescopes to view the best sights of the night. I set up my "portable observatory" in the desert behind Mitzpe Ramon, meet people at their hotels and guide them up to my observing location. We provide chairs and blankets for everyone, and No, no walking is required. The planets and stars are too far away! We let our eyes do the walking. I can usually take people in my own car up to my observing location. But if my car is full I may ask you to follow me in yours the short distance to my observing location (about 3 kilometers) behind town. No four-wheel drive required.
WHEN DO WE DO IT?
We go out every clear night, except Shabbat (Friday night) and Jewish holidays.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR A STAR TOUR?
Mitzpe Ramon has some of the darkest, most easily accessible skies in Israel. There is some light pollution here, but on a dark night the Milky Way is bright and easily visible, and the sky is star studded. The best nights to come if you want to see the sky that way is when there is no moon in the sky. See the Moon Phase Calendar on this site for dates of the dark of the moon. Of course, if your schedule does not allow this, we still go out every clear, non-holiday night and have a star adventure non pareil.
COST
The cost is 150nis/adult,75nis/child 6-12, no cost for children under 6yo, max charge of 750nis/nuclear family. Please pay in shekels or Israeli checks, but if you have Greenbacks, Euros, or Pounds, I can take those in a pinch.
Ask about special prices for larger groups.
WEATHER
It is cold in the desert at night, even in the summer, so I recommend people dress warmly year round, very warmly in winter. I also bring blankets for people.
SIZE OF THE GROUP

My star tours are group activities. I do not do exclusive tours. Size of the group is highly variable. Could be only you; could be as many as 20 people. Holidays are usually the busiest time of year. Whatever the size, the sky is large so everyone gets a front row seat. 

EXPERIMENTS

I sometimes experiment using different equipment and different modes of observation. When something works, it becomes a permanent part of the tour. For large groups I sometimes use my astrovideo camera which displays what the telescope is viewing on a TV monitor.


    Contact us at: machefsky@gmail.com

                             1-972-(0)52-544-9789

                              ira.machefsky (Skype)



To make a reservation call or email with the following information --


Name:


Size of group with ages of children:

Date(s) of desired star tour:

Your email address:

Hotel where you will be staying:

Mobile number where you can be reached in Israel:

Will you have your own transportation:



Looking forward to seeing you under the starry skies of Mitzpe Ramon!




Ira "The Starman of Mitzpe Ramon" Machefsky


We make the mysteries of the Cosmos easier to understand than this!


STAR TOURS OF THE NIGHT SKY FROM MITZPE RAMON

The Night Sky - Nature’s Own Planetarium

EXPERIENCE THE WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE WITH YOUR OWN EYES, HANDS AND OUR TELESCOPES FROM ISRAEL!

Welcome to nature’s planetarium, the night sky of Mitzpe Ramon. Let us take you on a guided tour of the heaven as you have never seen it before. From the dark skies here we will show you how to find the constellations, identify bright stars and experience  the sky’s wonders with our telescopes. See the star clouds of the Milky Way, observe planets and explore celestial marvels. Discover stars and constellations that tie into Biblical events, Jewish history and the Torah. 

On your two hour, night time star tour we take you to a high, dark plateau just a short distance from Mitzpe Ramon, overlooking Machtesh Ramon. There, under some of the darkest and clearest skies in Israel, you will learn to identify the constellations and learn both the classical and Hebrew lore of the sky. You will understand how the celestial sphere works, observe bright stars, learn their names, see star colors and understand stellar evolution. For the second half of the tour we go to our telescope and observe the best celestial wonders of the night – planets and their moons, star clusters, nebulae, and deep sky objects. Finally, you will hold “rocks from space”, moon rocks, and rocks from Mars in your hands. To cap it all off, you will hold a 4.5+ billion year old piece of the original "תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ" (“Tohu Va'vohu”) that our earth and solar system were created from! Suitable for ages 6 and up. Bring warm clothing, blankets.

Each tour is customized for the experience of the individual or group and objects observable each night. No previous experience or knowledge of astronomy required. Our goal is to share the wonders of the universe with you, while making you able to star gaze knowledgeably on your own after just one evening with us!

We can also come to you for your business meeting, party or special event. Treat your employees, colleagues and guests to an unforgettable night under the stars that will be truly different from anything they have experienced before.

Call or email to reserve a night.

What:   Two hour guided tours of the night sky from the clearest, darkest skies in Israel
When:   Every night, except Friday and Holidays
Where: The dark skies around Mitzpe Ramon
Time:6:00/6:30PM and 9:30PM weeknights; 9:00/9:30PM Saturday night
Reservations: Call 052-544-9789 for reservations
Web site: http://www.astronomyisrael.com
Who: Ira Machefsky, 50+ years of astronomy experience
Email: machefsky@gmail.com

We are located one hour south of Be'er Sheva on Route 40, on the rim of Mactesh Ramon, the largest erosion crater in the world, at 6 miles wide and 29 miles long, and over 1000 feet deep.

Location of Mitzpe Ramon on Google Maps
Mitzpe Ramon - The Darkest Skies in Israel

Come Star Gazing with Us in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
The Negev - Be There!

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