World’s Largest Dark Sky Sanctuary is Now in the US

All of the celestial conversation these days may be about the forthcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, but the United States recently received some exciting news about nocturnal skies. A 2.5 million-acre area of land in the Oregon Outback has been designated as a dark sky sanctuary, the world’s largest to date.

The newly certified Oregon Outback International Dark Sky Sanctuary (OOIDSS) is located in the state’s southeastern region. Dark sky sanctuaries, as designated by DarkSky International, are regions with little light pollution that provide spectacular views of the night sky and all of its glories. Once authorized, these sanctuaries are safeguarded to maintain the perfect darkness.

World's Largest Dark Sky Sanctuary is Now in the US

Dark sky sanctuaries are fantastic places for stargazing, but they are also utilized for scientific and educational objectives, such as expanding understanding of the stars and sharing with nearby communities.

“As Oregon’s population and light pollution trend continue to rise, the unparalleled scale and quality of the Outback’s dark skies will long serve as a starry refuge for people and wildlife alike,” stated Dawn Nilson, the environmental consultant who coordinated and prepared the application. “Adherence to the LMP will allow this large expanse of land to serve as a demonstration site of sustainable lighting principles not only within southeastern Oregon but possibly the Pacific Northwest Region.”

The distant, thinly inhabited OOIDSS is home to a diverse range of species. The high-desert scenery features mountain ranges, valleys, and basins, as well as hot springs, wild horses, private rangelands, ranches, and cattle.

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