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Warrumbungles Becomes Australia's First 'Dark Sky Park'

For stargazers, forever.

04/07/2016 12:44 PM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:56
Ingo Oeland / Alamy
The Grand High Tops in evening light.

A new kind of Australian national park has been declared at the remote Warrumbungles to protect the uninterrupted view of the night sky.

The 'Dark Sky Park' covers Warrumbungle National Park in central western NSW near the Siding Spring Observatory to protect the region's "key role in astronomical research".

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the park had to be approved by the International Dark Sky Association before it could officially be considered a Dark Sky Park.

"Warrumbungle National Park has long been recognised not only for its beauty at ground level, but also for the wonder it holds in the night sky above," Stokes said.

Getty Images
Death Valley is another Dark Sky Park.

"It's an outstanding place to view the night sky and, with the nearby Siding Spring Observatory, plays an important role in Australian astronomical research.

"As nearby communities grow, it's important we plan to protect the park's dark sky qualities from light pollution now and into the future."

Stokes also announced $100,000 in funding to control light pollution at the site in the future.

Other Dark Sky Parks include Death Valley National Park in the U.S. and Galloway Forest Park in Scotland and to be approved, applicants submit to rigorous requirements and are judged by 'dark sky experts' and previously successful applicants.

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