1
$\begingroup$

I recall when I was a child (many years ago) my father taking us out to gaze at the starts. I remember being able to see the Milky Way with our naked eyes (North Central New Jersey). Nowadays living down here in Maryland I can count the stars on my hand because of all of the light pollution.

So I ask, is there some sort of listing that shows where the best places are to gaze without a telescope up at the stars?

I'd like to see the Milky Way again and not the white glow of the city lights.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I would absolutely love it if we were to have in our country a National Dark Night where the cities would be required to turn off most lights, buildings, street lights etc. Even if for only an hour. People have no idea what they are missing if they have never gotten to experience it. $\endgroup$ – Elijah May 24 '17 at 11:00
3
$\begingroup$

You may be out of luck. If you live pretty much anywhere in the North East, there are very few locations where you can see a truly dark sky. You might be able to get somewhere where you can see the faint glow of the milky way band, but to see a really dark sky, you pretty much have to be out west in the middle of no where.

One resource to help you out is to look up the Bortle Scale. This is a metric used to describe how dark the sky is in a given area and thus what you're likely able to see with the unaided eye. There are numerous sites which attempt to predict or inform what your Bortle scale number is at your specific location.

In general though, you can get a feel of the light pollution in a particular area by using light pollution maps like this one or this one. Attached below is an image from the first link showing the general light pollution level across the US.

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Have a look at the the list of Dark Sky reserves from the international dark-sky association. This lists areas with almost 'unaffected' sky, where arrangements are in place to conserve the sky.

Here they offer a map of places with 'better' conditions.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

There's a state park in Pennsylvania that has some of the darkest skies on the east coast. It's so dark at night that the Milky Way casts a shadow. It's probably the best place you can go on the east coast to see the galaxy. I'm not sure of the distance from Maryland, but from New York City it's about 5 hours away, so it's a weekend trip.

It's called cherry springs state park, and here's a link to the Wikipedia page: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_Springs_State_Park

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.