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Moab UT (at City Hall)
38O34’ N Latitude 109O33’ W Longitude
4048 ft - 1234 m

The Value in a Naturally Dark Night Sky
By Crystal White


Sometimes it isn’t easy to quantify a resource from the natural environment. How do we delineate the importance of the natural world in our daily lives? How would our lives be without the experience of going outside at night and no longer being able to see the planets, stars, and Milky Way? Would it matter if that was no longer an option without traveling vast distances?

Sunrise-Sunset for February
(The time of sunrise and sunset assumes a flat horizon.
Actual time may vary depending upon the landscape.)




Sat, Feb 1

7:23 am

5:40 pm

Sun, Feb 2

7:22 am

5:41 pm

Mon, Feb 3

7:21 am

5:42 pm

Tue, Feb 4

7:20 am

5:44 pm

Wed, Feb 5

7:19 am

5:45 pm

Thu, Feb 6

7:18 am

5:46 pm

Fri, Feb 7

7:17 am

5:47 pm

Sat, Feb 8

7:16 am

5:48 pm

Sun, Feb 9

7:15 am

5:49 pm

Mon, Feb 10

7:13 am

5:50 pm

Tue, Feb 11

7:12 am

5:51 pm

Wed, Feb 12

7:11 am

5:53 pm

Thu, Feb 13

7:10 am

5:54 pm

Fri, Feb 14

7:09 am

5:55 pm

Sat, Feb 15

7:08 am

5:56 pm

Sun, Feb 16

7:06 am

5:57 pm

Mon, Feb 17

7:05 am

5:58 pm

Tue, Feb 18

7:04 am

5:59 pm

Wed, Feb 19

7:03 am

6:00 pm

Thu, Feb 20

7:01 am

6:01 pm

Fri, Feb 21

7:00 am

6:03 pm

Sat, Feb 22

6:59 am

6:04 pm

Sun, Feb 23

6:57 am

6:05 pm

Mon, Feb 24

6:56 am

6:06 pm

Tue, Feb 25

6:54 am

6:07 pm

Wed, Feb 26

6:53 am

6:08 pm

Thu, Feb 27

6:52 am

6:09 pm

Fri, Feb 28

6:50 am

6:10 pm

Sat, Feb 29

6:49 am

6:11 pm

For much of the European and Western United States, that is already the situation. Many people visit the Western United States to stargaze once more. To them, the experience is worth spending their family vacation in naturally dark places. The money spent on travel, lodging, and dining is all worth the few days they spend under the stars. The sense of awe and wonder leave them spellbound by the number of stars they can see.

I spend a lot of time talking with people about dark sky conservation. Everyone I’ve asked can remember their first time under a truly dark sky. They often speak to feeling small or insignificant after learning how vast the Universe is. Feeling insignificant is a curious feeling once you consider that our human origins, our elemental make up comes from the death of high mass stars within that same Universe. We are a collective conscious of the Universe, a mirror of creation through cataclysmic explosions. We are the Universe manifesting itself, and the Universe is within us.

Does it matter if we can no longer see the Universe beyond our planet? Does it matter if we lose sight of the stars that helped create the elements of our bodies? Would we lose our sense of self without experiencing a naturally dark night sky? The trend seems to suggest that thousands of people would rather not find out.

Many Western communities are looking to draw those seeking solace under the night sky by becoming International Dark Sky Communities. Many Western National and State Parks are joining the movement as International Dark Sky Parks. Several International Dark Sky Reserves have been added to the list as well. Utah is leading the charge in this bid to protect its dark places. The importance of this connection is being shown through action to protect what natural darkness is left across the world.

The Moab Dark Skies was established by the Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks in conjunction with the National Park Service and Utah State Parks Division of Natural Resources.
Dark skies are a valuable and rare resource that millions of people throughout the world never get to see. Discover ways to appreciate and conserve Moab’s unique and rare dark skies here at home. The universe is right overhead in our backyards!

February 1 First Quarter at 6:41 pm
February 9 Full Moon at 12:33 pm

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