Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 16, 2017
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The best island for seeing stars

Great Barrier Island or Aotea, its Māori name, is the first island in the world to be designated an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. Sanctuaries are different from Dark Sky Parks or Reserves in that they are far more remote and there are fewer threats to the darkness of the night sky. (Jasper National Park is a Dark Sky Preserve; Mont-Mégantic in Quebec is a Dark Sky Reserve.) Designations are based on scientific measurements, strict outdoor lighting guidelines and innovative community outreach. Located 90 kilometres from Auckland in New Zealand, Great Barrier Island is the third Sanctuary in the world. The other two are the Cosmic Campground in the Gila National Forest in western New Mexico and the Gabriela Mistral Dark Sky Sanctuary in Chile. The latter is managed by a group of universities dedicated to astronomical research. darksky.org.

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