Astronomy Israel
Astronomy Israel
5
9:30 PM - 11:30 PM
Monday
9:30 PM - 11:30 PM
Tuesday
9:30 PM - 11:30 PM
Wednesday
9:30 PM - 11:30 PM
Thursday
9:30 PM - 11:30 PM
Sunday
9:30 PM - 11:30 PM
About
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 needed.
Mitspe Ramon, Israel

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Travelers talk about
(7 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles227 reviews
Excellent
194
Very good
22
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
3

Harold B
Jerusalem, Israel63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Ira Machevsky, the starman of Mitzpe Ramon, explained the heavens to us so well. He has a wealth of knowledge that he transmitted to us with such ease and with so much enthusiasm, that it was a pleasure listening to him.

We went when the moon was two thirds full which increases the amount of light in the sky and therefore makes it harder to see the stars. I would recommend booking a time where the moon is dark; this can be found on his website.

I would gladly do this tour of the skies again with him.
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for joining us! Keep on looking up!!
Written August 26, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jonny K.
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
I have been living in Israel for 45 years and on Nov.12, 2020 i met Ira the starman from Mitzpe Ramon with my children and grandkids a total of 12 of us and it was one of our most phenominal nights of our lives spent together. Ira and his partner Ziv opened up a new world of adventure in the solar system and beyond.From their organization of chairs to their telescopes we began a night that no one will forget.Even the grandkids were fascinated,. Ira and Ziv had patience for all.Without a doubt its a must !! Thank you for opening up our horizons and beyond. Jonny Kuritsky Shavei Zion.
Written November 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Reuven Lerner
Modiin, Israel81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
This was a high point (no pun intended) of our visit to Mitspe Ramon. Ziv was an excellent guide, not only helping us to see (with the naked eye and a telescope) the stars, planets, and the moon, but also to understand why we were seeing what we did. It couldn't have been more fun and interesting.

A small note: As promised (warned), it was rather cold at night. So be sure to bundle up before going! But don't hesitate; this was a fantastic experience.
Written March 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gavin
22 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
I went with my teenage son in December. It was a clear night. There wasn't much moonlight. The stars were amazing. So far so good.

The tour, however, was just boring. About 20-30 people, and the guide just didn't engage with us. It was like he was talking regardless if anyone was listening.
It was like he was waving the Lazer pointer at random things, while talking about something else.

The guy gets mostly great reviews, albeit not much in the last 12 months. So, maybe it's me. I dunno.

But I just couldn't recommend this tour based on my experience, certainly not at 175nis per person.
Written December 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

db7920
Washington DC, DC65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
Ira and Zeev were so enthusiastic about the sky and what we were seeing. It coincided with the rare convergence of Saturn and Jupiter so we spent a lot of time on this once in a lifetime event. Then we looked at different constellations and planets. They were very generous with their time. It is definitely a worthwhile evening event if you are in Mitzpe Ramon. I would do it again, but pick a night with less moon in the sky.
Written December 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hadas F
Ramat Gan, Israel91 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Friends
Loved it. We were sitting on chairs in the middle of the desert, pitch black night, hearing all about the stars. We then viewed the stars that we learned about in telescopes. Nadav was very knowledgeable and loved teaching about it.
Written February 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wpgjet51
Calgary, Canada32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Family
Ira is an amazing guy who loves astronomy and it rubs off on the visitor. Seeing all the stars and planets and hearing Ira's great and entertaining explanations is not to be missed!
Written August 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FrequentTraveler137
Great Falls, VA75 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
In Mitspe Ramon you can see the glories of a really dark sky, one where the Milky Way really does look like a streak of glowing milky white stars crowded so close together they merge. Stars fill the sky. Not since the blackouts of World War II have most people seen a sky like this. Unless they visit a high desert somewhere else.

Ira takes you to a secluded site away from town lights, shielded by hills, where his assistant has already set up some small telescopes. You sit on folding chairs enveloped in blankets with cushions under your bottom -- it gets Really cold in the desert at night.

He gives a sky tour describing how the stars appear to move and why, pointing out some bright stars and constellations and imparts a lot of scientifically correct information embedded in a steady stream of humor. He respects equally the people to whom some of this is old hat, and those who know almost nothing of the heavens.

Then you spend another hour using the telescopes, ranging from an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain to a lovely refractor and some giant-sized binoculars. Jupiter showed off really well in the 8" with three of the Galillean moons visible. Mars was a bit small; some globular clusters were spectacular.

Binoculars make the stars seem almost three dimensional.

Ira has done a great job of selecting accessible and highly capable telescopes. Kudos to him! He is extremely knowledgeable and outrageously happy to make you as enthusiastic about the night sky as he is.

Some tips for your enjoyment:

Dress very warmly. I thought I had, but I shivered. Be sure to wear a warm cap.

Dark adaption takes a long time, and your night vision can be destroyed in an instant.

DO NOT take pictures with cell phones; the white screen will destroy your night vision.

DO NOT, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT, use your camera's or smartphone's flash!!! You will destroy Everybody's night vision, and it can take ten or twenty minutes to recover.

Be very careful. It's easy to become disoriented in the dark and go crashing to the ground. The ground is pretty smooth, but there lots of rocks to stumble over. I'm pretty sure someone who needs a wheelchair for mobility could be accommodated.

Just for fun: you pass one of Israel's national forests. If you ever "planted a tree" in Israel, it could be there.

Free pick up at your hotel and return if you don't have a car.

(Full disclosure: I'm a retired physics and astronomy professor; Ira never once bored me with his sky tour, and never once got anything scientific wrong! He is great, and this was our best nighttime entertainment in Israel!)
Written May 27, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CAH2010
London, UK46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Couples
Ira is bursting with personality and is as interesting as the stars themselves! He made it a fun, interactive and educational experience. I highly recommend. But dress warm!!
Written September 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nechama S
Miami Beach, FL170 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Family
Ira is very knowledgeable, passionate about his field and nice to deal with. we were a large group and we kept changing our minds about when to see his tour and how many of us would be coming. he did not get frustrated with us even as we changed our plans a few times. we ended up joining another group, so we were quite the large crowd, including a whole bunch of kids (ages 10 months-19 years). the tour of the night sky is about 2 hours. you book with Ira in advance by phone or by email. he knows in advance if it will be a full moon and if there are any other factors which could influence the viewing on the night you are interested in. the darker the sky is, the more you will get to see. our tour began before the moon rose, so we were able to see a lot of the milky way and a bunch of constellations. Ira speaks over a microphone so everyone can hear. there are lawn chairs, pillows and blankets set up so everyone can be comfortable. we kept hearing that it would be cold there, sitting in the middle of the desert at night, but, it wasn't cold at all. only one kid in our party said he was chilly. everyone else was fine. if you are going to be there in any season other than the summer, bring a sweatshirt or wrap. ira had a big powerful telescope out and a big pair of binoculars. he had an assistant there to help make sure everyone had a chance to see. we got great peeks at saturn and as the moon rose, we got amazing views of that as well. he passed around a bit of the meteorite that landed in chaliabinsk, russia (sp??). his enthusiasm for his field was very fun to see and quite infectious. he has a quirky sense of humor, loves science-fiction movies and is entertaining. my only advice is try to go on a night where there aren't many people- like maybe just your party. the more people there, the longer it takes for everyone to have a look through the telescope and binoculars. little kids can get impatient while waiting for their turns. a very memorable, fun activity. recommended!
Written August 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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