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Looking To Get Outside This Fall? How About Stargazing Under Hill Country’s Darkest Skies.

Looking to get outside this fall? How about stargazing under Hill Country’s darkest skies.

How much of the Milky Way galaxy can you see from your front door? For those looking to escape to the great outdoors as the weather cools off in the fall, Central Texas has several designated International Dark Sky parks that offer views of the night sky with less light pollution, so visitors can enjoy plenty of stars in the Lone Star State. There are six dark sky parks in Texas, and three of them are within striking distance from…

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Dripping Springs Proclaims October As Hill Country Night Sky Month

Dripping Springs proclaims October as Hill Country Night Sky Month

At a recent City Council meeting, the Council proclaimed October as Hill Country Night Sky Month in Dripping Springs. Dripping Springs joins The Hill Country Alliance (HCA) and many other communities in our area that are dedicated to the preservation of the region’s night skies. October will be the second annual Hill Country Night Sky Month and will be a celebration of the star-filled night sky — one of our region’s most dazzling features — and the many ways that…

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Hill Country Communities Can Pursue Dark Sky Designation Following New State Law

Hill Country communities can pursue Dark Sky designation following new state law

Across the more remote pockets of Hill Country, several communities are looking to attract tourism dollars and increase the quality of life for residents by utilizing a precious, shrinking natural resource—darkness—or rather, the absence of artificial light. With the authorization of a recent state bill, Senate Bill 1090, cities across Texas can again apply for a designation of a Dark Sky Community from the International Dark-Sky Association. In order to attain that title, a town must enact certain restrictive lighting…

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Black Gap Wildlife Management Area Designated As An International Dark Sky Sanctuary

Black Gap Wildlife Management Area designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary

BREWSTER COUNTY – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is proud to announce that Black Gap Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Black Gap WMA is the second TPWD property to receive the Sanctuary designation, joining Devils River State Natural Area – Del Norte Unit which was designated as a Dark Sky Sanctuary in 2019.   Read more from Texas Parks & Wildlife News here.

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Travis County Goes Lights Out For Migratory Birds

Travis County goes Lights Out for migratory birds

Lights Out Texas is a campaign of education, awareness, and action that focuses on turning out lights at night during the spring and fall migrations to help protect the billions of migratory birds that fly over Texas annually. The goal of Lights Out Texas is to reduce migratory bird mortality by increasing statewide participation at the business, local official, municipal, and community levels, as well as collecting and reporting data.   Read more about Light Out Texas in Travis County…

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County To Turn Off Lights In Summer And Fall To Protect Songbirds

County to turn off lights in summer and fall to protect songbirds

The Travis County Commissioners Court passed a resolution Tuesday that will mandate county buildings to turn off all nonessential lights from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. during key migration periods for migrating songbirds. The Lights Off initiative will be in effect annually from March 1-June 15 and from Aug. 15-Nov. 30.   Read more from Seth Smalley with the Austin Monitor here.

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Where Dark Skies Draw Star-gazers, Wildfire Smoke Spoils The View

Where dark skies draw star-gazers, wildfire smoke spoils the view

GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK — The high, lonesome dunes that run up against the Rocky Mountains at 7,500 feet above sea level in southern Colorado are a long, long drive from the closest streetlight, and after dusk, the almost untainted darkness and thin, dry air reveals just how bright the night sky can actually be. Stars burn fierce enough to cast shadows on the sand. The core of the Milky Way is a blazing arch, soaring over the Continental…

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Be A Sponsor, Be A Star At This October’s Hill Country Night Sky Month!

Be a sponsor, be a star at this October’s Hill Country Night Sky Month!

Deep within each of us is a memory of breathtaking awe and wonder. Within each of us is a recollection of that first time we found ourselves speechless, under a canopy of deep night and starlight. It might have been at a star party, under a planetarium dome, or while camping. No matter how you found your way to the night sky, it is an experience that touches our hearts, ignites our curiosity, and connects us all. This October, the…

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What Animals See In The Stars, And What They Stand To Lose

What animals see in the stars, and what they stand to lose

One moonless night a little more than a decade ago, Marie Dacke and Eric Warrant, animal vision experts from Lund University in Sweden, made a surprise discovery in South Africa. The researchers had been watching nocturnal dung beetles, miniature Sisyphuses of the savanna, as they tumbled giant balls of dung. The beetles seemed to be able to roll remarkably straight, even though they had no clear landmarks to reference.   Read more from Joshua Sokol with the New York Times…

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Perseid Meteor Shower 2021: All You Need To Know

Perseid meteor shower 2021: All you need to know

In the Northern Hemisphere, we rank the August Perseids as our all-time favorite meteor shower. The Perseids take place during the lazy, hazy days of northern summer, when many families are on vacation. And what could be more luxurious than taking a siesta from the heat of the day and watching this summertime classic in the cool of night? Plus, 2021 is an excellent year for this shower! No matter where you live worldwide, the 2021 Perseid meteor shower will…

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