The pleasure of darkness

pacholka-landscapearch.jpgMost of us live in cities, and while they have their charms, they also isolate us from our natural world. Look up into the sky on a clear night, and amid all the glare, you might be able to pick out a few bright stars, a planet or two, and the Moon. But when we travel to remote beaches, sail on the open sea, or hike in the mountains, we glimpse the real, dark, infinite sky, with all its constellations, the Milky Way, the universe beyond. Satellites, the Space Station, shooting stars all are moving past up there all the time. In a dark sky, we finally see them.

Access to that dark sky is so scarce for many of us, that it’s become a commodity. In Pennsylvania, Cherry Springs State Park has been designated as a “dark sky park,” and is being promoted as one of the darkest spots for stargazing on the whole East Coast.

Find out more:

  • A recent Associated Press story about Cherry Springs’ dark skies.
  • The International Dark Sky Association fights the spread of light pollution.
  • The National Park Service’s Night Sky Team works to preserve natural lightscapes.