|Big Dipper stars and meteor over Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah ~ © Royce Bair|
How far away from the city lights does one have to travel to find skies dark enough to photograph the stars? Typically, I tell people that you must be about 50 to 75 miles (80 to 120 km) from a large city (over 100,000 population), and 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 km) from a smaller town (under 10,000). That can be difficult in many of the populated areas of the world.
|The Earth at Night - "Earth's Lights" - a composite satellite image from NASA|
|Here's a closer view of just North and Central America|
|Dark Sky Finder screenshot of SLC metro and west desert to Wendover, Nevada|
Technical data for the top photo: The NightScape of the stars over the Bonneville Salt Flats was taken on January 4, 2011 at 3:45 A.M with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, using a Canon EF 15mm f2.8 Fisheye lens @ f3.5, 30 seconds, ISO 2500.
Find Darkness in a High Population Area: Check out this article about photographer, Jack Fusco, and how he overcame the challenges of light pollution in New Jersey!
Royce Bair is the editor of this blog and the photographer of the top image. Here is my gallery of NightScape images. My schedule of workshops, tutorials, and other events is available here.