For amateur astronomers, ‘star parties’ are the antidote to light-polluted skies

“Star parties” are growing in popularity as amateur astronomers, both visual and astrophotographers, gather at Cherry Springs State Park to experience dark skies.

A rare sight: Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania is one of the few dark sky sites in the eastern U.S., drawing amateur astronomers from Florida to Wisconsin.
* Twice a year, park officials and local astronomy clubs host “star parties” to view and photograph dim and distant celestial objects.

Changing trends: Sensitive digital cameras have given rise to amateur astrophotography, collecting and stacking long, multiple exposures to create extraordinary images.
* The shift is attracting a younger demographic and interest in astrophotography took off around the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bigger picture: A study published in the journal Science reveals that from 2011 to 2022, the night sky has gotten nearly 10% brighter each year on average due to increasing light pollution.

View original article on NPR

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