South Llano River State Park earns dark sky status

South Llano River State Park recently earned International Dark Sky-Park status. CONTRIBUTED/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
South Llano River State Park recently earned International Dark Sky-Park status. CONTRIBUTED/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

 

Looking for darkness, shooting stars and comets?

Head to South Llano River State Park, which just became the third state park in Texas – along with Copper Breaks State Park and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area – with International Dark-Sky Park status.

South Llano River State Park earns a “3” on the Bortle Scale, which ranks skies from 1 to 9, with one for the darkest skies and nine for the least dark, according to a press release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The park hosts star watching parties. CONTRIBUTED/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
The park hosts star watching parties. CONTRIBUTED/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The park is located off of Interstate 10, about 5 miles from Junction. Park officials there team with local astronomers, the Mason Star Gazers and Texas Tech University at Junction’s Outdoor School to offer star watching parties, where the public can view the night sky and learn about the importance of darkness to people and wildlife.

The park’s webpage includes information about its efforts to protect dark skies, plus a clear sky chart and real-time dark sky monitoring from the park’s Sky Quality Meter.

For more information about dark skies at Texas state parks, visit the dark skies program page on the TPWD website.

For more information about the International Dark Skies Association, go here.

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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