Utah's Dark Skies
The night sky is a thing of beauty. It connects us to the universe. Since the beginning of humankind, the night sky has evoked awe and reverence. Poets, philosophers, and scientists have all been inspired by its majestic grandeur.
So it's disheartening that in many places in the world, people are no longer able to actually see the night sky. Because of encroaching light pollution, entire regions have become so saturated with light that it completely overwhelms the enchantment of the night sky.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to mitigate light pollution. Turn off your lights if you don't need them, or use a light timer. Use shielded lights that shine down and not out.
The benefits of reducing light pollution are many. Emitting too much light is wasteful. Cutting down on it saves resources and money.
Reducing light pollution also helps balance the circadian rhythms of all living things. Plants and animals depend on the daily light cycle to survive. It influences reproduction, sleep, nourishment, and most of all, it protects life. Maintaining the cycle helps plants and animals to survive and thrive.
The night sky also enhances our quality of life. It contributes to better health and physical wellbeing, and inspires and energizes the human mind. It fascinates and enlightens us – from famous artists and leading scientists to you and me.
This summer, you may want to consider planning your trips around astrotourism. Utah has the highest number of certified Dark Sky Places in the world. You can immerse yourself in one of Utah’s 24 Certified Dark Sky Parks, each with its own unique landscape and the Milky Way as a backdrop. Utah also boasts two dark sky communities, Torrey and Helper.
The night sky is our heritage, and it belongs to us all. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to preserve it?
For more information on dark skies in Utah, visit the International Dark Skies, Utah Chapter.
For more information on astrotourism in Utah, visit the Utah Office of Tourism.
Video presentation about Utah's Dark Skies