Protecting and Restoring Night Skies

National Parks are home to some of the last remaining harbors of starlit skies and provide unparalleled opportunities for the public to experience the grandeur of the cosmos. The National Park Service protects and restores natural night skies and nocturnal environments in national parks as part of the natural resources, processes, systems, and values protected under the NPS Organic Act. Ecosystems rely on natural cycles of light and dark, and natural night skies are also a key component of wilderness character and are integral to many cultural and historic traditions and practices. 

Night sky at Owachomo Bridge, Natural Bridges National Monument
Protecting Night Skies

Click on image above to view a StoryMap and learn about how we protect night skies.

Map of US, including Alaska and Hawaii, shows nights sky data collections sites
Night Sky Interactive Maps

Click on image above to view map of NPS data collection sites and associated reports.

Interactive web map that displays distribution of noise and light pollution to National Parks and ma
Distribution of light pollution

Click on image above to explore interactive map displaying distribution of light and noise pollution in NPS units, contiguous U.S.

Star trails around north star at Glacier Bay National Park
Shooting Stars and Meteors

Click on image above to learn about shooting stars and meteors.

Last updated: July 10, 2024