Arizona is known for its impressive night skies, but light pollution still poses a threat.
The International Dark Sky Association has deemed Oracle State Park north of Tucson as an International Dark Sky Park in the hopes of protecting it from light pollution.
This makes Oracle State Park the only park in the Arizona State Park system to receive IDA recognition. Only two other communities have been included on this list; Flagstaff and Sedona.
International Dark Sky Park areas are recognized by three categories - Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Gold status represents the darkest skies, followed by Silver and Bronze. Oracle State Park received Silver recognition.
IDA hopes to raise public awareness on the impacts of light pollution, including its financial impacts (roughly $2 billion a year in unnecessary energy costs in the U.S.) and its impacts on astronomy businesses/studies. You can learn more about the organization here www.darksky.org
Below is a YouTube clip of the Milky Way seen from Oracle State Park.