O Radiant Dark! O Starry Night!

The night sky has inspired generations for millennia. With the night comes dazzling pinpoints of light, and the Milky Way unfurled in luminous mystery. Nighttime views and environments are components of the critical resources the National Park Service protects. Night sky protection enhances wilderness qualities of solitude, naturalness, and untrammeled, undeveloped 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 resource; it is part of a complex ecosystem that supports both natural and cultural resources.

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?

A light shines on a mountain lion at night in Big Cypress National Preserve.

Animals Need the Dark

Naturally dark night skies have a big role to play in supporting wildlife and park ecosystems.

Photo composite shows the various stages of partial and total solar eclipse conditions.

The Eclipse In Totality

The Natural Sounds and Night Skies team captured photos and videos of the solar eclipse by day and also night during the new moon passage.