O Radiant Dark! O Starry Night!

Starry night skies are components of the special places the National Park Service protects. Our national parks hold some of the last remaining harbors of darkness and provide opportunities for the public to experience this critical resource. Animals rely on natural cycles of light and dark for navigation, protection, mating and predation. Natural lightscapes are integral to many cultures. Light pollution disrupts these relationships. NPS helps preserve night viewsheds for future generations.

Model of globe shows light pollution in North America.

Electric Night

Bright areas on this global map show where sky glow from artificial lighting in North America blots out the stars and constellations.

Tent campers under the stars in Big Cypress Tent campers under a night sky filled with stars in Big

Big Cypress Recognized as Dark Sky Place

In the urban east, Big Cypress NP has one of the last protected night skies where visitors can still enjoy the splendor of the Milky Way.

A calibrated camera installed at Great Sand Dunes NP prepares to measure night sky conditions.

How Bright Is the Night?

Data tells park managers and citizens about the existing night sky quality, departure from natural conditions, and degradation sources.