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7 places for top-notch stargazing

By: Katherine Butler on April 1, 2012, 5:21 p.m.
Capricornids as seen from California

Photo: j-dubb1980/Flickr

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Eyes on the sky

When many of us turn our eyes toward the night sky, we see a yellowish-grey swatch sweeping across the horizon with an occasional brightly lit planet blinking as if on low-batteries. The sweeping landscape of the Milky Way, so familiar to our ancestors, has become the stuff of mountain vacations and desert sojourns. Light pollution is a serious problem for our planet. Inefficient lighting patterns can cause massive amounts of energy waste, while oddly timed brightness negatively impacts the health of humans, plants and animals alike. City lights contribute to the deaths of thousands of disoriented animals yearly. (Click here to learn more about the search for darkness in our world.)

But there are still several lovely dark spots in the United States and beyond. Here are seven prime viewing areas to consider. (Text: Katherine Butler)