Stargazers’ delight: Where is the best place to be amazed for Global Sleep Under the Stars night?
Monday is officially Global Sleep Under the Stars Day. The International Dark Sky Association helps take the guesswork out of finding celestial beauties by certifying Dark Sky Communities, Parks, Reserves, Sanctuaries and Places.
Monday night is the perfect opportunity to disconnect, turn-off all the lights and be amazed at the spectacular light show our night sky has to offer. Its officially ‘Global Sleep Under the Stars’ night.
The National Day Calendar registered August 8th as such in 2020. Sleep Under the Stars Night was the brainchild of Eddie Bauer, the lifestyle brand, according to National Day Calendar. But the idea took off after the first night in 2020 beyond pitching a tent in the backyard.
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Where is the best place to sleep under the stars, FOX Weather asked outdoor enthusiast Linda Mazzu with the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks?
"Bryce Canyon," Mazzu answered without hesitation.
Bryce Canyon National Park is an International Dark Sky Park, certified by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA). Mazzu, now retired was Superintendent of the park when the park was nominated.
"I helped just push it over the finish line. Basically you have to do a lot of things, including inventorying all your lighting fixtures and measuring how bright they are. And you also have to put together a light scape management plan, which helps you reduce the impact of lighting fixtures, artificial light on the night sky," she said of the effort that took years to achieve. "We worked with our partners, our gateway communities on that and were able to get nominated. So it's a pretty robust part process."
Big Bend National Park in Texas, Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida and Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky are just a few more of the 42 Dark-Sky National Parks where you can marvel at galaxies.
The IDA so far certified over 195 Dark Sky Places around the world. Take a look at the list and find one near you with a starry canopy Monday night.
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FOX Weather’s Hunter Davis visited the second community in the U.S. to earn the Dark Sky designation last year. The IDA awards certifications to nominated communities, not just national parks, around the world that reduce light pollution and enforce outdoor lighting ordinances. There are 23 U.S. and 11 international Dark-Sky Communities.
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The group based in Tuscon, Arizona developed the Dark-Sky Places certification in 2001, according to the website.
"There are many, many parks not all designated, that do a lot of stargazing like Acadia National Park, they put on an astronomy festival and Shenandoah," said Mazzu, if you can't get to a spot on the list. "[NPS.gov] tells you about stargazing events and astronomy festivals… It is a wondrous experience, you feel like you're at a rock concert. There are fields of telescopes, and you just get to go look through."
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Of course, seeing the stars is weather dependent. Check out the FOX Weather app for your local forecast for Monday night.
The moon will not be ideal for stargazing. The new moon or no moon would be ideal. Monday’s waxing gibbous moon is over 80% of full which will drown out fainter stars. But, you can enjoy the moon too which will be full on Thursday.
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