Few sights are as awe-inspiring as viewing the splendor of the clear night sky in a location removed from impactful light pollution. The light which comes from planets, stars and other galaxies, travels unfathomable distances through space, and without competition from our lights here on Earth, it shines all the more brilliant and clearer. Today, millions of people across the globe may never see the Milky Way due to light pollution.

Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory is located in one of only two certified Dark Sky locations in Oregon. This designation is through our partnership with the International Dark Sky Association, a nonprofit organization that works to protect the night environment and promote responsible outdoor lighting. The goal of International Dark Sky is to educate the public about the negative impacts of light pollution, inspire people to take action to reduce light pollution in their communities, and encourage individuals and organizations to become advocates for preserving the natural night sky.

Light pollution is a serious issue with far-reaching negative consequences:

  • Increased and wasted energy consumption.
  • Disrupting the daily cycle of light and dark rhythm which govern life-sustaining behaviors. Artificial light has been shown to have a determinantal and even deadly effect on amphibians, birds, mammals, insects and plants.
  • Disrupting the circadian rhythm in humans can harm their health.

There are various steps to take to help reduce light pollution in your local community. This could include turning off outdoor lights at night, using motion sensors to control lights or advocating for more responsible lighting practices in your area.

Learn more at www.darksky.org/about/