The expansive Milky Way, a falling star caught on the horizon, thousands upon thousands of twinkling stars – watching the night sky reminds of the vastness of the universe. Sadly, seeing all the cosmic splendor has become increasingly difficult because of light pollution. Here are our picks for getting a clear, unpolluted view of the stars.
The clear, dry air of the southwestern US, plus areas of unspoiled remoteness, make for a star-gazing explosion. Try the dark-sky city of Flagstaff, Arizona or Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Or, celebrate at the Grand Canyon during their annual star party in June.
Some of Europe’s darkest skies can be found in remote areas of England and Scotland. The northernmost dark sky park in the world is Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. In England, right outside of the coastal area of Cornwall, you’ll find Bodmin Moor. Bodmin Moor is a remote, rugged, heather-covered upland granite moorland where the sky lights up at night.
Namibiaʼs NamibRand Nature Reserve, one of Africaʼs largest private nature reserves, lies in one of the naturally darkest (yet accessible) places on Earth. It was established to help protect and conserve the unique ecology and wildlife of the southwest Namib Desert, and its mission now includes preservation of the area’s starry night skies.
New Zealand’s South Island contains the ultimate, picture-perfect natural landscape. And now, Mount Cook National Park has been designated an International Dark Sky Reserve. So, have a glass of regional wine and stargaze on top of Mount Cook.
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