National parks like Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado protect some of the last remaining dark night skies, which remind us of our connection to the cosmos and serve as a critical resource for animals to navigate, mate and hunt. As the saying goes, half the park is after dark -- stay past sunset to experience stargazing and solitude away from city lights. Milky Way photo courtesy of Tyler Nordgren.

National parks like Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado protect some of the last remaining dark night skies, which remind us of our connection to the cosmos and serve as a critical resource for animals to navigate, mate and hunt. As the saying goes, half the park is after dark -- stay past sunset to experience stargazing and solitude away from city lights. Milky Way photo courtesy of Tyler Nordgren.

The Chaco Culture National Historical Park has just been designated a Dark Sky Park. Free of light pollution, the archaeological site in northwestern New Mexico offers amazing views of the night sky, such as this view of the Milky Way. Credit: Stan Honda

The Chaco Culture National Historical Park has just been designated a Dark Sky Park. Free of light pollution, the archaeological site in northwestern New Mexico offers amazing views of the night sky, such as this view of the Milky Way. Credit: Stan Honda

The Milky Way creates a rainbow of stars above Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. On a cold, clear night, photographer Majeed Badizadegan captured multiple vertical shots to create this panoramic image, where the foreground is lit entirely by starlight. Photo courtesy of Majeed Badizadegan.

The Milky Way creates a rainbow of stars above Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. On a cold, clear night, photographer Majeed Badizadegan captured multiple vertical shots to create this panoramic image, where the foreground is lit entirely by starlight. Photo courtesy of Majeed Badizadegan.

New International Dark Sky Park opens in Michigan; Only nine others in the world (north of Petoskey, in Emmet County, along Lake Michigan and west of Mackinaw City)

International Dark Sky Park opens in Michigan; Only 9 others in the world

New International Dark Sky Park opens in Michigan; Only nine others in the world (north of Petoskey, in Emmet County, along Lake Michigan and west of Mackinaw City)

I went to see Black Canyon Of the Gunnison in Colorado at night and it was amazing! [3200x2133][OC] : EarthPorn

I went to see Black Canyon Of the Gunnison in Colorado at night and it was amazing! [3200x2133][OC] : EarthPorn

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado and see some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock and craggiest spires in North America. Pictured here is a stunning shot of the park at night with the Milky Way rising above the Black Canyon

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado and see some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock and craggiest spires in North America. Pictured here is a stunning shot of the park at night with the Milky Way rising above the Black Canyon

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