Northern California Is Home To One Of The Best Dark Sky Reserves In The World
In Northern California, the counties of Siskiyou, Modoc, Shasta, and Lassen are miles away from any major city, so the night sky is very dark. You can sit amongst the trees and have a great view of the dark night sky from a number of locations.
This massive area of land is a playground for stargazers. Local astronomer’s clubs frequently host “star parties,” that are open to the public. Typically, astronomers bring their telescopes to these events and share them with other enthusiasts.
If you’ve ever purposely sought out a dark night sky, you’ll know that being in a dark area makes a major difference when it comes to what you can see with the naked eye. Darkness is measured by something called the Bortle Scale. It’s a nine-number scale that qualifies the darkness and factors in light pollution. Due to expanding cities and suburbs, light pollution makes it harder to see the stars. Usually, people have to travel to experience anything lower than a 4 on the Bortle Scale.
Have you ever taken a trip to stargaze in Northern California? Where did you go? Tell us about your experience in the comments.