O Radiant Dark! O Starry Night!

The night sky has inspired us for generations. With the night comes dazzling pinpoints of light, and the Milky Way unfurled in luminous mystery. Nighttime views and environments are among the critical park features the National Park Service protects. Night sky protection enhances qualities of solitude and undeveloped wilderness character that animals depend on for survival, park visitors seek for connections, and many cultural-historical parks require for preservation. In this regard, the NPS recognizes a naturally dark night sky as more than a scenic canvas; it is part of a complex ecosystem that supports both natural and cultural resources.

A ring of illuminated trees frame this skyward view of the aurora.

The Colors of the Aurora

What are the physical processes taking place in the atmosphere that form the aurora?

A star-filled night sky arches over a campground tent at Joshua Tree National Park.

Camping Under the Stars

What better way to experience the great outdoors than camping in a national park under a star-filled sky?

Auroral

National Park Getaway in Denali

Denali National Park and Preserve has a beauty all its own in winter, thanks to a factor that most people are curious about: light.