Preserving the Night Sky

The Milky Way over Cape Lookout.
Photo – Alex G

Congratulations to Cape Lookout National Seashore !!

They are now home to the first International Dark Sky Park on the eastern seaboard. Through the hard work of Park Rangers, Volunteers from the Crystal Coast Stargazers astronomy club and support from our community, we are proud to have Cape Lookout National Seashore officially recognized by the I.D.A.. Congratulations to all involved and thanks for the hard work!

In January 2020 Crystal Coast Stargazers began involvement in our most ambitious project to date.  Cape Lookout National Seashore, a park that is one of our most used observing sites, began the application process to become a designated International Dark Sky Park.  Superintendent Jeff West and his staff share our club’s passion to preserve our pristine dark skies in the eastern part of Carteret County.  CC Stargazers entered into a partnership to assist Cape Lookout in this endeavor.  Club members have been involved in taking measurements, readings, and photographs necessary to document the skies for the application.  In addition, our members have been actively involved in the required outreach efforts to educate the community on the effects of light pollution and ways to eliminate or reduce it.

During the year, other partners have joined and pledged their support to Cape Lookout’s application – these include Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center, Carteret County Chamber of Commerce, Town of Beaufort Commissioners, Carteret County Board of Commissioners.  The application will be submitted within the next few months with a response from the International Dark Sky Association probably coming in the fall.  Approval or not, Crystal Coast Stargazers will continue to be dedicated to preserving our night skies for future generations!

A special thanks to our Dark Sky Supporters.

Preserving the Night Sky.
Hosted by Carteret County Community College.

Carteret Community College graciously hosted a Program about the Club’s work with Preserving our Dark Skies, to view please click here.
(Vermadel Nienstedt – IDA Coordinator, David Heflin – Club Coordinator, Brandon Porter – NASA Solar System Ambassador)