Niue becomes the world's first "Dark Sky Nation"

The international non-profit organization "Dark Sky Association" has accepted into its ranks the island of Niue, located in the Pacific Ocean east of Tonga. The people of Niue, one of the smallest nations in the world (1, 600 in total), proudly embraced the title of "Dark Sky Nation." This division is introduced as a counterweight to other countries that are increasingly suffering from light pollution in the 21st century.

The need for a "dark sky" mode arose as an acute reaction to the excess of light noise, which today is already a very tangible problem. It's not just about the light of cities and businesses, a lot of pollution comes from planes, satellites and personal gadgets. In some regions, the concept of "time of day" and "daylight hours" actually remained only on the pages of textbooks - people can spend their whole lives under artificial lighting.

With the advent of massive commercial satellite projects such as Starlink, it has become apparent that observing a pristine, dark sky strewn with stars is becoming an unattainable rarity. Therefore, by analogy with wildlife sanctuaries, 130 places have already been created in the world where light pollution is minimized. In particular, in Niue, for this purpose, the systems of street and home lighting were completely redone, new comfortable walking paths were laid so that one could move along them at night without a flashlight.

There were already observation platforms for whale watching on the island, and now there will be their counterparts for observing the night sky. These are elements of infrastructure for a new direction - "astrotourism", when people specially go to where they can admire the starry sky in all its glory.