Every year it gets harder and harder to find starry skies that aren’t obscured by the ever present glow of urban light pollution. But there’s hope out there for all you galaxy gazers.
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According to a recent press release, the International Dark Sky Association recently awarded Rainbow Bridge National Monument in Utah as the first designated “dark sky sanctuary” in the USA. It’s only one of 4 on Earth.
“We’re thrilled to be the first National Park Service unit to receive this specific designation, as this will only fuel our night sky preservation efforts.” – William Shott, Superintendent of Rainbow Bridge National Monument
The national monument is one of the smallest in the NPS inventory and includes only 160 acres of land that can only be reached via boat on Lake Powell or by backpacking in over Navajo Mountain.
“In the span of this remarkable natural bridge, we see symbolically represented the arch of the Milky Way across the night sky, a reminder of the long-held value of both Rainbow Bridge and the natural night sky to native peoples of the area.” – IDA Executive Director J. Scott Feierabend
IDA executive director J. Scott Feierabend said the designation honors the often overlooked night time natural landscape of Rainbow Bridge National Monument, which has been held as sacred by multiple tribes in the past.
Upcoming programming and events at the National Monument will focus on stargazing, light pollution, and what can be done to keep our skies starry for generations to come. Find out more here.
Find the entire release here: Rainbow Bridge National Monument Designated World’s 4th International Dark Sky Sanctuary