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The US and Canada have a new dark sky park for stargazers to enjoy

The US and Canada have a new dark sky park for stargazers to enjoyThe US and Canada have a new dark sky park for stargazers to enjoy

(CNN) – Note to amateur astronomers: there is a new place in the dark sky to see the stars.

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is now certified as an International Dark Sky Park, having met the lighting requirements set by the International Dark Sky Association.

The park, which includes Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and Glacier National Park in Montana, installed dark-sky-friendly lighting to reduce light pollution and give visitors a clear view of the night sky, said Thursday the National Park Service in a statement. .

Officials have installed LED street lights and dark sky compatible light fixtures and bulbs throughout Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, and plan to add more, according to the park service.

“The dark skies over Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park are truly spectacular,” said Ron Hallman, President and CEO of Parks Canada. “The designation of Peace Park as the world’s first international cross-border dark sky park shows the world our commitment to protecting the environment, while providing visitors with opportunities to connect with nature, even at night. ”

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is renowned for its scenic landscapes of meadows, forests, mountains and glaciers, as well as for its rich plant and animal life. But now visitors will also be able to enjoy the view upwards.

“The night sky is an important feature of the wilderness of Glacier National Park,” said Pete Webster, acting park director. “Seeing the expanse of the universe clearly increases a person’s sense of loneliness far beyond that of the earthly landscape. A Dark Skies designation helps visitors to the International Peace Park find their own wild solitude. ”

With this certification, Parks Canada now has 12 dark sky certified sites.

In addition to improving the view of the night sky, the Dark Sky Park certification raises awareness of light pollution and reduces wasted energy, according to the park department.

Certification also offers ecological benefits. Artificial light harms nocturnal animals as several species require darkness to feed, mate and migrate, the park service said.

While scientists have tools and technologies to study the sky and its treasures that previous research throughout history never had, light pollution makes it difficult, if not impossible.

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