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7 places for top-notch stargazing

April 1, 2012, 5:21 p.m.
Skies of Cherry Springs State Park, Pa.

Photo: nicholas_t/flickr

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Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

This remote, 48-acre park in upstate Pennsylvania was named the state’s first “dark skies park” in 2000 by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Because of its distance from larger cities, the area is known as one of the best places to stargaze on the East Coast. Park officials recommend all visitors point their flashlights downward at night, or use a red light filter to help protect the skies from light pollution. The night skies are so clear that the park has since been named one of eight International Dark Sky Parks. This means that, under the best conditions, the Milky Way is so visible that it can cast a shadow.