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11 certified dark sky reserves, where the nighttime heavens are the star

Idaho is applying to become an official dark sky reserve, which would make it the first in the United States and the 12th in the world. The Milky Way – that flood of stars splashed across the inky night sky … and the galaxy we call home – has been a source of wonder ever since humanity has had the capacity to muse about such things. It has served as a source of inspiration for ancient Egyptians and enlightenment scientists, modern artists and poets, and everyone in-between. And we’ve squandered it away, made it disappear; we're depriving generations of people from ever knowing its profound beauty. Thanks to our incessant obsession with artificial light, we have ruined the nighttime sky. More than 80 percent of the planet's land areas – and 99 percent of the population of the United States and Europe – “live under skies so blotted with man-made light that the Milky Way has become virtually invisible,” writes National Geographic. It is an enormous loss of nature; yet it’s one that brings, perhaps, the least distress to me. Restoring ruined nature is a generally a daunting concept, but restoring the night sky is easy: Just turn out the lights. Which is where The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) comes into play. IDA is the star-loving non-profit founded in 1988 that is dedicated to protecting the night skies for present and future generations. They grant certification for dark sky parks, reserves, and sanctuaries.

Read More: TreeHugger

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