This Desolate Pacific Island Wants To Be The World’s Next Dark Sky Sanctuary
Dark, starry skies are becoming harder and harder to find, with research from Science Magazine suggesting that 80 per cent of the world’s skies are affected by light pollution. But if you’re longing for the clearest views of the cosmos, look no further than the South Pacific’s Pitcairn Islands.
Pitcairn Island exists just south of the Tropic of Capricorn, and 300 miles from the nearest landmass – about halfway between New Zealand and Peru. The island itself is about 3km long, 1.5km wide, is home to just 50 residents and is surrounded by the third biggest Marine Protected Area in the world.
There’s no airport and the only way to reach it is by boat. All of which make it the perfect vantage spot to see the wonders of the Milky Way. The stargazing is so good, that Pitcairn Island is hoping to be officially named a dark sky sanctuary.
The title is specially reserved for locations in which stargazers can see the night sky without any interference light pollution and at the minute, there are only three in the world: Great Barrier Island, New Zealand, the Cosmic Campground in New Mexico, USA and Gabriela Mistral in Chile.
“Pitcairn has amazing dark skyscapes. As part of our commitment to protecting our environment, we aim to curate a world-class night sky-viewing experience,” travel coordinator Harther Menzies told LonelyPlanet News. “Being such a pristine and remote island, our natural amphitheatre will provide an ideal location for intrepid Astro visitors.”
Pitcairn Islands remain one of the most remote and undiscovered tourism destinations in the world, so the title as a dark sky sanctuary would certainly be welcomed with open arms.
Want to see the stunning skies for yourself? Check out Qantas flights and begin your next adventure.
(Lead image: Polyrus/ Flickr)