Dinosaur National Monument Is More Than Cool Fossils, It’s Now A Dark Sky Park Too

Photo: Dinosaur Natl Mounument HQ At Night - Courtesy
Stars fill the sky above the Quarry Exhibit Hall in Dinosaur National Monument.

Colorado’s national monument known for dinosaur fossils has also been named one of the world's best places to view the stars.

Officials at Dinosaur National Monument say the landmark has been designated an International Dark Sky Park for its "exceptional quality of natural darkness."

Dinosaur National Monument Superintendent Paul Scolari said they’re proud of the honorific and will “work with surrounding communities to uphold the high standard set by the [International Dark-Sky Association] in order to protect the magnificence of the night sky in our region moving forward.”

The International Dark Sky Places Program encourages the preservation and protection of dark sites through education and responsible lighting policies. The monument, which straddles the Utah-Colorado border, is the 12th Utah location and the fifth in Colorado to earn dark sky designation.  There are more than 100 designated dark sky places worldwide.

The IDA also recognized efforts by monument staff to reduce artificial evening light and preserve dark views. Maintained by the National Park Service, the monument offers 35 nighttime viewing events.

“Visitors from around the world are finding that star-filled skies at Dinosaur are often as novel and awe-inspiring as fossil-filled rocks,” said Park Ranger Sonya Popelka in a news release.

The monument was also named by scientists as one of the quietest places in the nation in 2015 based on acoustic monitoring.

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