Dark Sky

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DarkSkyThere are few places left on the planet were one can get views of the night sky with no visible effects from modern-day light pollution. I have been lucky enough to visit several internationally recognised dark sky locations. I took this image while visiting Mt. Cook in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve of New Zealand.  It was a moonless night and perfect for star-gazing.

I’ve only seen the starry night sky of the southern hemisphere twice in my life. The first time was when I  visited Zimbabwe for a month-long safari adventure with my dad. The night sky was very memorable as we camped out beneath the stars nearly every night. I attempted to photograph it back then, but my camera gear wasn’t as good as it is now.

When my wife and I decided to visit New Zealand, I looked forward to visiting Mt. Cook and planned it so that we arrived on a new moon. I was praying for good weather and we got it. I couldn’t have asked for a clearer night. This was our first night in New Zealand and it was perfect. I’m still not a great night photographer, but I do love to try. Every time I see the brightness of the black I am reminded of how small we really are and how massive the universe that surrounds us really is. I find myself somewhat envious of those who lived before a time when the electric light polluted our sky. Then again I wouldn’t want to live without electricity… I like my digital devices, but I am glad we have dark places reserved for these views.

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