Viewsheds & Night Skies

Many national parks contain large areas away from human development, where clear vistas and night skies are an important human value. A sweeping natural landscape free of smog and incongruous buildings and roads can be an immensely inspiring sight. Similarly, a starry night can inspire everyone from a great artist, such as Van Gogh, to a child looking up at the night sky away from city lights for the first time. Looking up and seeing a sky full of stars is one of the most basic ways of enjoying our world and beyond, yet night skies are a diminishing resource in many park units because of anthropogenic sources of light that compete with the night skies.