Antelope Island named a Dark Sky Park

Friday , April 21, 2017 - 5:54 PM

LEIA LARSEN, Standard-Examiner Staff

Antelope Island is officially an International Dark Sky Park.

The International Dark-Sky Association made the announcement on its website Friday. Utah now has nine official dark sky parks, more than any other state or province in the world. North Fork Park in Weber County was named an International Dark Sky in April 2015. Most recently, Cedar Breaks National Monument near Cedar City was awarded the title last month.

Utah’s other International Dark Sky places include Hovenweep National Monument, Natural Bridges National Monument, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Goblin Valley State Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Parks and places receive the coveted designation after the association’s staff determine its night sky is free enough of light pollution and possessing “exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment.”

“We are thrilled,” said Wendy Wilson, assistant park manager, in a news release. “Dark skies are a valuable resource that is often overlooked, but critical to human health, scientific research, wildlife health, and overall safety. We have a lot of support from the community with our efforts to attain this designation – particularly from Syracuse City and Davis County.”

Antelope Island State Park and the Ogden Astronomical Society will host a Star Party at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26. Visitors can celebrate the designation by viewing space with telescopes. 

For more information, visit stateparks.utah.gov or call 801-725-9263.

To learn more about the importance of preserving dark skies, watch this video produced by the Standard-Examiner in 2015. 

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