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As anyone who lives in a heavily urbanized region knows, a star filled night sky is nothing to take for granted. Light pollution in many urban regions prevents all but the brightest stars from being seen. Even regions with relatively low population density generally suffer some light pollution from local highways and individual homes and businesses.
While most of us seem to have accepted the loss of a dramatic night sky in exchange for modern amenities, the 650 residents of Sark, the smallest of the United Kingdom’s four Channel islands, refuse to sacrifice their truly spectacular view of the Milky Way.
The rustic lifestyle of island residents has caused the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) to name Sark the first “dark sky island”. The naming was in part an effort to raise awareness of light pollution. Sark has historically banned cars and public lighting, however, the new title has spurred proud residents to take extra efforts to reduce light pollution. Sark residents are now actively modifying their home lighting in efforts to reduce the amount of light projected upward.
Check out the IDA’s website for more information on reducing light pollutions, and to search for “dark sky” regions close to your home.