There has been a steady parade of meteor showers and shining planets looking to wow us in the nighttime sky this summer, but there’s one thing standing between us and a perfect show: light pollution. It can be hard (even practically impossible) to get out from under the bright lights of the city, but there are still spots in the United States that offer a completely clear, unblemished view of the cosmos.
Not surprisingly, light pollution is rampant in the vast majority of the eastern half of the country, but there are a few exceptions in parts of Minnesota, Michigan and Maine. Rural parts of the western United States, though—as well as much of Alaska and Hawaii—remain prime locations for stargazing.
Unfortunately, it may not be feasible to travel that far for the view—particularly if you’re in the Washington D.C. area, which The Washington Post reports is both the most light-polluted region of the country and the farthest removed (800 miles!) from a place with clear night skies. But there are a few things you can do to reduce the light pollution coming from your own home:
Strategies for reducing light pollution include shielding outdoor fixtures so that light is directed only toward the area where it is needed, rather than upward toward the sky, selecting bulbs that don’t emit excessive amounts of blue light and only providing as much illumination as is needed.
It won’t make the sky as pristine as you’d find in Northern Arizona, but it’s a start.