dark skies

The Milky Way over Crater Lake National Park is just mesmerizing. Tiffany Nguyen took this amazing photo a few weeks ago while visiting the park. Of the experience, she says, “I must’ve gotten over a dozen mosquito bites and hardly any sleep, but it’s nights like this I’ll never forget.” Photo courtesy of Tiffany Nguyen.

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The Bortle Scale

The Bortle scale is a nine-level numeric scale that measures the night sky’s brightness of a particular location. It quantifies the astronomical observability of celestial objects and the interference caused by light pollution. John E. Bortle created the scale and published it in the February 2001 edition of Sky & Telescope magazine to help amateur astronomers evaluate the darkness of an observing site, and secondarily, to compare the darkness of observing sites. The scale ranges from Class 1, the darkest skies available on Earth, through Class 9, inner-city skies.

(Source: Wikipedia)

The Milky Way glitters above Yellowstone National Park. David Lane created this stunning multi-image panorama of the night sky over the park’s Pelican Creek – a place that offers great views of Yellowstone Lake. Photo courtesy of David Lane.

Visit Arches National Park in Utah at night, and enjoy stunning views of the starry night. Pictured here, a hiker takes in the gorgeous views of the Milky Way underneath the Delicate Arch. For more breathtaking photos of the Milky Way, check out our stellerstories at http://on.doi.gov/1FOTNsC

Photo by Jacob W. Frank (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado and see some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock and craggiest spires in North America. Pictured here is a stunning shot of the park at night with the Milky Way rising above the Black Canyon. Photo courtesy of Greg Owens

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Mount Rainier Is Beautiful, And It Looks Even Better Under The Stars

Not far beyond Seattle, Washington, Mount Rainier rises out of the sky to greet visitors and locals alike. It’s a majestic sight – one that’s certainly beautiful during the day, but we think Mt. Rainier looks even prettier at night.

(Source: Huffington Post, 9/11/2014)