I noticed something beautiful shortly after I moved from Waterbury to Torrington, Connecticut - the night sky was a bit more impressive in my new hometown. Do you ever think about what all of those street lights are dimming your view of? I did a little research, and I found out that if you're looking for the darkest skies in all of Connecticut, you skygazers need to go to Litchfield or Windham County.

Have you ever seen our view of the Milky Way overhead in the nighttime sky in Connecticut? Maybe, but I truly hadn't until a trip to Cape Cod. It changed my view of our world. We were on the shores of the Cape in Brewster, Massachusetts at sunset, and the most incredible display that I had only seen on film suddenly started appearing over our heads. Without the crush of 140,000 vehicles, residences, and businesses all lit up in a 4 mile radius, tiny flickers of faraway stars were suddenly bold, and the colors of our universe came into view. Since that evening, I have ignored my porch lights, decorative lighting, and any other unnecessary light during the overnight hours.

You may have read about the Lights Out! movement here in Connecticut, where we've been urged to dim our unnecessary lights in order to help out migratory birds. Help ourselves now, especially after such an incredible daytime eclipse this week.

The Bortle dark sky scale measures the night sky's brightness at a particular location. It's a 9 point scale, where 1 is the darkest, and 9 representing the crush of light pollution in inner cities. Most of Connecticut, especially the 95/91/84 corridors, and all of our major cities are in the 5,6,7 range of the Bortle Scale. The lowest Bortle scores in all of Connecticut? 4, and they're all concentrated in Litchfield and Windham Counties. Go-astronomy.com suggests state parks and forests for stargazers to set up. Some of the best state parks in Connecticut with the darkest skies are Beckley Furnace State Park in East Canaan, Kent Falls State Park, Haystack Mountain State Park in Norfolk, and White memorial in Litchfield.

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