Tue. Oct 26th, 2021


This story is basically Appeared Atlas Obscura And part of it Climate desk Collaboration.

Mike Bachchas remembers the man simply as “Texan.” A few years ago, Texan, in his seventies, was a guest New ZealandIts Lexton Lodge, which is owned by Bachus and his family. The man made his way from there Texas In the Mackenzie area of ​​the South Island of New Zealand for the landscape, to see the bright part of the violet lupins against the blue glacier lake and the snow-capped peaks above the Golden Tasked Mountains. He did not realize that one of Mackenzie’s most glorious places was revealed after sunset. In one of the darkest night sky areas in the world, the wide brook of the Milky Way even dwarfs near the dwarfs to the high peaks of Auraki or Mount Cook.

One evening, Bacchus invited his guest to go out. Texan’s first instinct was to raise his hand. The stars were so lively that it seemed like he could reach them and catch them. Standing under the huge bowl of heaven, the man bathed in the light and passion of the stars. He told Box that he was clearly seeing the stars for the first time since he was 10 years old.

For the box, Texan’s surprise was reminiscent of how precious and elusive the clear night sky is. “It really hit home. He just forgot about the galaxy, ”said Bachus.

Lakestone, an off-the-grid lodge on the edge of the bright blue Lake Pukaki, is located within the Auraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. From the lodge, the nearest traffic light is about 100 miles drive.

Nominated in 2012 and covering an area of ​​more than 1,600 square miles, the reserve offers more protection than just the night sky. It provides relief from the effects of light pollution for every living thing within its borders, from endangered insects to humans who have forgotten the galaxy. More 80 percent of the world’s population One study found that light pollutants live under the sky Advances in science. Even three hours away from the reserve Dunedin, Where M মাori astronomer Victoria Campbell grew up, the stars are masked.

“It was breathtaking to see and feel what I wasn’t seeing from my home in town,” Campbell said of the first view of the night sky at his reserve. She was fascinated. “Our whānau [family] We decided to go to Mackenzie because of our love for the environment, and the natural sky. ”

Accommodating just a few thousand people, the Mackenzie Basin is a prime location for stargazing. That is, when it is not cloudy. As astronomer John Hershaw observes, Auraki Mackenzie is “known for his dark skies, not his cloudless skies.” Former director of the Mount John Observatory at Tekapo in the center of the Herenshaw Reserve, and played a key role in protecting the title of Dark Sky. He has been advocating for the protection of the night sky in the region since the late 1970s. And he’s not done yet.

In his house Christchurch, Harnash opens a book written by him, New Zealand Dark Sky Handbook, And Mackenzie flipped over on a map of the district. He marks his finger along the dense blue lines of the Southern Alps and lakes while he and other advocates expect reserves to expand in the neighboring Fairley Basin, which will almost double its size. This is good news for both Stargazer and the region’s smallest inhabitants.

The Mackenzie area’s dry task is home to insects and other insects that are not found anywhere else on earth. For example, Ijatha Saikra It is a moth that is found only in a preserved tree, where it teases on the verge of extinction. “These insects have a single reasonable population. Well, I say reasonable population; I haven’t seen more than three insects in a year, “said Robert Hower, an entomologist at Manaki Wenua Landcare Research in New Zealand.



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