What Does an Unpolluted Sky Look Like?

Travel News — By Candice Walsh on June 14, 2011 at 10:49 am

Photographer Nick Risinger has spent a full year traveling 60,000 miles and taking 37,440 images to create a picture-perfect portrait of the night sky. Why? He wanted to show the “full sphere of the night sky” sans city pollution. His journey took him through the American west, South Africa, and the world beyond. You can find the result of his work in a 360-degree interactive view located at Sky Survey.

Living in a city, sometimes it’s easy to forget there’s a whole wide sky out there beyond the haze and pollution. For those living in clean, unpolluted places, sometimes a starry night sky is taken for granted. You might have heard about the Dark Sky Park in Scotland, one of the best places in the world to see the night sky due to its low light pollution.

Image: Kabacchi/Flickr

However, sometimes even cities offer epic views.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, sometimes the Northern Lights are viewable during the year when conditions are right (especially in spring and early fall). In the Canadian prairies, flat stretches of land reaching to the horizon means that the setting sun lights up the full sky in brilliant shades of color, even in major cities like Winnipeg. Every now and then, you’ll even get a crazy thunder and lightning storm.

In Edinburgh, Scotland, the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has been set up to help eliminate light pollution. Not a bad idea, huh?

What cities can you think of that have the best sky views?

Tags: city with best night skies, Nick Risinger, night skies

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