If you are looking for a place to stargaze, photograph the Milky Way or see a shooting star or two, you need to find somewhere dark. Really dark. Light pollution is the biggest obstacle to seeing the night sky. If you have been somewhere really remote on a clear night, you know that what you see in town is totally different than what you see in the wilderness.

Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler on Unsplash

Mesa Verde National Park has recently been named the 100th International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. Mesa Verde National Park is a total of 52,253 acres of high mesa located in the southwestern corner of Colorado. Mesa Verde was established as a National Park in 1906 to protect the history and archeology of the Ancestral Puebloan people. The park protects over 5,000 sites, including the iconic cliff dwellings.

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Mesa Verde National Park has become one of the 38 International Dark Sky Places that is administered by the National Parks Service. In total, there are 169 certified International Dark Sky Places in 21 countries across the globe.

The International Dark-Sky Places Program started in 2001 for the encouragement of communities, parks, and protected areas to preserve and protect dark sites with lighting policies and education.

Source: International Dark-Sky Association 

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