Sometimes You Don’t Want Enlightenment

It’s not good news about greenhouse gases, but anything that preserves the beauty of our world and keeps it unsullied by the hand of man is a fine thing in my book. The sky above the Iveragh Peninsula in Ireland’s County Kerry has been officially designated an International Dark Sky Reserve — one of seven such places worldwide.

The International Dark-Sky Association based this designation on County Kerry’s exceptionally clear night sky, free of light pollution.

Six millennia ago, there were people living on the Iveragh who constructed stone monuments aligned with the various celestial bodies, so this has been going on for a long time (in civilizational terms, anyway).

Plenty of music to be heard in County Kerry:

“A Dark Sky Reserve” is:

…a combination of public and private land with “exceptional or distinguished” quality of starry skies. It is formed through a partnership of land owners and administrators who commit to protecting the visibility of the night skies with regulation, formal agreement and long-term planning. It consists of a “core area” and a peripheral area that also supports the protection of the dark sky.

Where are they?

There are currently seven, including the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, Mont Mégantic (Quebec, Canada), Exmoor National Park (UK), Aoraki Mackenzie (New Zealand), Brecon Beacon (Wales), Pic du Midi (France).

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