13 February 2017

Finding "dark skies"

Those who wish to see the skies as their grandparents did and appreciate the magnificience of the Milky Way would do best to find a "dark sky" away from the contaminatin of urban lighting.  I made the screencap above from a world map at DarkSiteFinder.

It's zoomable to tell you which way to drive from Salt Lake or Park City for stargazing -

- and it covers the entire world -

?why the hot spot in subSiberian Russia?  Perhaps burning natural gas from oil fields?

Found via an article at FiveThirtyEight about The Darkest Town in America, which discusses the environmental and health effects of nocturnal light pollution.

And this is related: an aerial view of a community in the process of switching from conventional sodium lights to LEDs:

Discussed at the Mildly Interesting subreddit.


  1. Those are the Ural Mountains and they are very mineral-rich, so my guess is something mining-related.

    1. *near the Ural Mountains. Not quite on. Still the best guess I can come up with, though. Google has failed to give me a definitive answer so far.

    2. Aha! Of course I find it right after I post...
      Looks like your guess of gas fields was right. Check out slide 21: http://www.slideshare.net/millgaydil/russia-oil-trade-pattern

    3. Was the first thing I seen that looked, "what the hell is that!" and was about to post. That area looks bigger than Germany, would take you hours to a half a day to drive through it (depending on your speed). I wonder if there are Autobahns going through it.. that is quite a huge area, never knew it existed on that scale, I knew Russia had a lot of gas, but to see it like that, massive foot print.

      Also the pic of the city switching to LED's is cool, hopefully happens everywhere in the future

  2. Looking at the DarkSiteFinder map, why is there a large bright area in the middle of the ocean ESE (east SE) of St. John's, Newfoundland?

    1. That would be the Grand Banks. Doubt that fishing boats use lights there, so likely this -


      The light presumably to burn off unwanted gases, but maybe also to serve as a "lighthouse" warning to shipping.

    2. fishing boats do use lights at night. the boats are always moving, all over the banks, so they probably would not show up in one spot.


  3. If you are looking for an area without so-called "light pollution", try North Korea!


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