Night Sky Videos and Podcasts

Our national parks provide scenic views of some our country's most unique landscapes, and opportunities to explore the dark night skies. Poor air quality and light pollution affect not only the health of our planet and ecosystem, but the way we enjoy our national parks.

The following media provide a spectrum of reflections on the wonder and value of clear dark skies, and information about light pollution's impact on viewsheds and ecosystems. Be inspired. Make a difference!

the milky way shines bright over a forested mountain
Glacier's Dark Skies
Glacier's Dark Skies

A clear night sky in Glacier is a magical experience. Viewers can often see the Milky Way, shooting stars, and even planets. This video highlights the dark skies of Glacier National Park and describes the efforts taken to designate the park as an official International Dark Sky Park.
Night view of starry sky over rock forms at Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Dark Skies Over Glen Canyon

Dark Skies Over Glen Canyon

Vignettes of the vast array of night sky scenes at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Rainbow Bridge has been named a Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association, the first in the National Park Service and fourth in the world to receive this honor. This video has no audio beyond generic background music.

Night view of starry sky and people using a telescope
Yosemite Nature Notes 19: Night Skies

Yosemite Nature Notes 19: Night Skies

Yosemite's vast acreage and remote location protect some of the darkest night skies in the country. Astronomers, photographers, and city dwellers flock to the park to take advantage of this unique opportunity to view planets, stars, and galaxies.

Close up of a hand putting a tape cassette into a recorder
Night Spoken

Night Spoken

For eight beautiful nights at the 2018 Grand Canyon National Park Star Party, a vintage cassette recorder was placed on a table under the stars for visitors to find. Next to the old machine was a sign that invited visitors to imagine themselves as messengers from the year 2218, where stars can no longer be seen due to light pollution. They looked up. And they left these responses.

View of bat calls on echo locator device
Unsung Heroes of the Night
Unsung Heroes of the Night

A bat inventory gives front row views of biologists weighing, measuring, and inspecting Big Brown bats at the BioBlitz2016 Bat Inventory in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
A ranger with Dead Horse State Park looks through a telescope for a view to the night sky.
Clear Air and Magnificent Skies

In this video, hear from the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative and learn more about the way our viewsheds and night skies are being impacted and what we can do to protect them.

Special thanks to Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, Dead Horse Point State Park, and the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative
Close view of a brown bat with White Nose Syndrome
It's All About Bats
All About Bats

National Park Service wildlife veterinarian Michelle Verant shares expertise on bats and White Nose Syndrome, and engages with BioBlitz participants at the NPS Centennial celebration on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., May 2016.
View of rope rigging, oars and the deck of a boat
Mālama Honua

Mālama Honua

Crew members of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, an NPS environmental mission partner, discuss traditional wayfinding, oceanic conservation, and cultural heritage as part of BioBlitz2016; Washington Canoe Club, D.C.

An infrared camera captures this turtle hatchling as it crawls from its nest in the sand to the sea.
Outside Science (inside Parks) — Teens and Turtles at Gulf Island National Seashore
Outside Science (inside Parks) —Teens and Turtles at Gulf Island National Seashore

When sea turtles hatch in areas with lots of light pollution, they can get disoriented and not make it into the ocean. This episode tracks the young volunteers in the Pensacola Florida area working to help turtles make it to the sea.
Sky glow from light pollution is visible on the horizon, and impacts night sky viewsheds.
The Night Sky at Teddy Roosevelt National Park

The night sky is one of the resources at Theodore Roosevelt National Park that are becoming more rare and precious as our country develops. Ranger Kate explains why the night sky is important to her, and why we need to focus special attention on preserving this amazing piece of heritage.
Silhouetted trees frame this starry night sky view
Night Sky - Grand Canyon in Depth / Episode 4

Night Sky — Grand Canyon in Depth / Episode 4

Journey to a place where the Milky Way stretches across the heavens. Experience the mystery and wonder of Grand Canyon's night sky with Astronomer Tyler Nordgren and Park Ranger Rader Lane. Explore its beauty and learn what you can do to help preserve it.

View to silhouetted skyline against a starry night sky
Astronomy Ranger Minute

Astronomy Ranger Minute

It has been asked "what do we lose, if we lose the night?" Take a journey through the brilliant night skies of Great Basin National Park. These dark skies are exceptional, but under threat. Ask yourself this question: does a solution exist?

Bill Nye, spokesperson and CEO of The Planetary Society, supports 100 Years of our National Parks and the importance of dark skies
Bill Nye and 100 Years of our National Parks

Bill Nye and 100 Years of our National Parks

The Planetary Society wants citizens everywhere to know the cosmos and our place within it. 2016 is the one hundredth anniversary of the National Park Service. For 100 years the Park Service has been preserving our natural wonders so that we can go to the parks... and wonder! This wonder is what drives so much of science.

A man wears eclipse sunglasses and gives the thumbs up sign
Eclipse 101
Eclipse 101

Natural Sounds and Night Skies physical scientist Bob Meadows answers questions about the 2017 total solar eclipse.
Slightly out of focus lit skyscraper buildings at night
Disappearing Darkness Park II

Disappearing Darkness Part II

The night sky in Joshua Tree National Park is one of the darkest night skies in southern California. Visitors enjoy stargazing and seeing the Milky Way. However, the threat of light pollution is always on the horizon.

Two park rangers discuss what they can do about the loss of their night sky viewsheds to light pollution
The Night Sky Threatened

The Night Sky Threatened

When two rangers investigate light pollution around Theodore Roosevelt National Park, they are surprised by the difference that good design and planning can make, but they are even more surprised by the natural phenomenon that, by chance, unfolds behind them.

Last updated: December 7, 2022