Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"The World's First Dark Sky Island . . ."

Dark Sky Island


Welcome to the Dark Side: British Isle Named Skywatching Paradise


     A small, rocky chunk of land in the English Channel has been named the world's first dark sky island, a distinction awarded because its low levels of light pollution allow stunning views of the night sky.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) recognized Sark Island, which is about 80 miles (129 kilometers) off the south coast of England, for the quality of its night sky. Sark thus becomes the latest in a select group of dark sky places around the world, and the first island.

Sark, which is just 3 miles long by 1.5 miles wide (4.8 by 2.4 km), has no public street lighting, no paved roads and no cars, officials said. As a result, its night sky is very dark, with the Milky Way stretching from horizon to horizon, meteors streaking overhead and countless stars on display.

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