When you gaze up at the Texas sky it seems never-ending. Just as the sun illuminates the sky during the day, natural light from the moon and stars used to be seen far and wide during the night. But today, artificial light pollution has brightened the night sky, making its natural wonders difficult to see. Four out of every five people can no longer see the milky way from where they live.
The good news is Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is working to improve night skies in state parks across Texas through its Dark Skies Program and has teamed up with a host of partners to raise awareness of preserving night skies through educational programs and stargazing events. Each month, dozens of fun night sky activities take place in Texas State Parks across the state.
The Bortle Scale is a numerical ranking used to show how easy celestial objects can be seen from a particular place. Here are a few State Parks across Texas with the darkest skies (Bortle Scale rankings 1-3):
- Balmorhea State Park (2)
- Barton Warnock Visitor Center (2)
- Big Bend Ranch State Park (1)
- Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (2)
- Colorado Bend State Park (3)
- Copper Breaks State Park (2)
- Davis Mountains State Park (2)
- Devils River State Natural Area (2)
- Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area (2)
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (3)
- Indian Lodge (2)
- Kickapoo Cavern State Park (2)
- Lost Maples State Park (3)
- Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site (2)
- South Llano River State Park (3)
Visit NatureRocksTexas.org to find Texas State Parks near you with star parties and other night sky events for you and your family to enjoy.