Posted on: February 17 2012

Friday Photo: Billions of Stars on View in the Lone Star State

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Imagine looking up at the night sky to watch a seasonal meteor shower at your favorite national park, miles away from the bustle of the city, only to discover as your eyes adjust to the darkness that the stars are almost too faint to see. Light and air pollution have increasingly obscured our view of the sky. The National Park Service now predicts that by 2025 there will be few places left in the lower 48 states to view the Milky Way.

Fortunately, the Park Service has a Night Sky Team that has worked for years with agencies and local residents to help preserve dark nighttime skies. Just last week, the International Dark-Sky Association designated Big Bend National Park in Texas as a Dark Sky Park–the second U.S. national park and one of just ten parks in the world to achieve that distinction.

The photo above gives just a glimpse of what we gain from preserving the darkness.

-Bryan Faehner, Associate Director of Park Use

  1. carol
    carol03-08-2012

    Going to BIG BEN tbis month. very excited about seeing our Bright Tx stars. Nothing like that here in Houston.

  2. Nicole
    Nicole03-09-2012

    Lovely. I worked in Big Bend in 1994. On nights with no moon, it was so dark that I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. And the stars were spectacular!

  3. Jennifer Errick
    Jennifer Errick03-09-2012

    I envy you both! This park is SO on my bucket list!

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