Dunstanburgh Castle, England
© Owen Humphreys/PA Images/Getty Image
Starstruck. South Downs Dark Skies Festival
No, it's not one of Vincent van Gogh's creations or a galaxy far, far away—it's our galaxy, the Milky Way, over Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland. With skyglow, or light pollution, infiltrating even rural areas, faraway stars, meteor showers and other objects in the night sky are disappearing. Thankfully, the International Dark-Sky Association is promoting dark skies to do something about this loss. There are 119 Dark Sky Parks in the world, including the Northumberland National Park, as well as 21 Dark Sky Reserves, seven of which are in the UK. With its 'Bronze Level' darkness, one of the reserves—South Downs National Park—is welcoming people to their Dark Skies Festival starting today. From stargazing sessions to after-dark walks, this star-studded event ending on February 18 has a lot in store.