Hey there, you with the stars in your eyes: If this  splendid view of the  night sky  looks like  something you rarely see, it’s because the  photo was  taken at a “dark site,” where the  sky  is unspoiled by light pollution, the reflective glare caused by artificial light streaming from buildings and street lights in  more populated areas.

The International Dark Sky Association (darksky.org), a group of astronomy enthusiasts, nature lovers and anyone else who’s interested in light management, works with cities and towns to curb this excess glow. Their  strategy not only provides more stargazing opportunities, but also improves safety by reducing  blinding glare and  tamping down excess energy use.  Sounds like a wish come true.

Story by Jacquelyn Lane. This article originally appeared in Plenty in December 2006. This story was added to MNN.com in June 2009.

Copyright Environ Press 2006.