Santa Elena Canyon under the Milky Way in Big Bend National Park, Texas
© Stanley Ford/Shutterstoc
Big sky at Big Bend
Seventy-six years ago today, on June 12, 1944, Big Bend officially became a U.S. national park. The park covers more than 300,000 hectares in West Texas along the Mexico border. This vast area contains mountain, river, and desert ecosystems, including the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the United States. Far removed from any urban centres and the light pollution that comes with them, Big Bend boasts some of the darkest skies you'll find, earning it a designation as an International Dark Sky Park. Even after 76 years, Big Bend still glows.