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.