Finding a Million-Star Hotel: An Astro-Tourist’s Guide to Dark Sky Places

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Springer, Jul 4, 2016 - Science - 322 pages

Bob Mizon, one of the world’s best known campaigners against the veil of light pollution that has taken away the starry sky from most of the world’s population, takes readers to a hundred places in the UK and the USA where the wonders of the night sky might still be enjoyed in perfect or near-perfect night skies. Visiting small hotels and simple campsites, and savoring vast dark-sky reserves where the night sky is actively protected, The Million-Star Hotel celebrates the black skies of yesteryear – which may become a reality for more and more of us as modern technology reins in lighting and puts it only where needed.

How can you prepare for your stay beneath the stars? What astronomy can you do during the daytime? What kind of equipment will you need? Questions such as these are answered, and if town dwellers return inspired – and, Bob hopes, also inspired to look with fresh eyes at their own local lighting – there is enough information here for them to equip themselves for some urban astronomy too.

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What Are Dark Sky Places?
Invasion of the Townies
Seeking Out the Real Night Sky
Whats in the Sky?
The Great American Eclipse of August 2017 and Beyond
The StarHunters Kit
Stargazing Etiquette and Hosting AstroTourism
Light Pollution Thief of the Stars and Mother of Dark Sky Tourism
Appendix B UK Dark Sky Discovery Sites
Appendix C The Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
Appendix D Starry Starry Night
Appendix E 100 Places in the United States to See the August 2017 Total Eclipse of the Sun
Appendix F Further Information
Appendix G The Bortle Scale and SQM Readings
A ppendix H Glossary of Astronomy Terms

Appendix A IDA International Dark Sky Places as of April 2016

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About the author (2016)

Bob Mizon, MBE, FRAS [Bob likes to point out that his name rhymes with ‘horizon’] is a graduate in modern languages, but is much better known as an astronomer. Having taught for 26 years at Poole Grammar School – where he met his wife Pam – he embarked on a rather daring career change in 1996. Responding to a lifelong love of astronomy, he became a planetarium operator, and now takes a stunning mobile dome into schools, youth groups, and societies all over southern England. Over 130,000 people have experienced a tour of the Universe with Bob at the controls!

Bob is best known in the scientific and environmental community as the co-ordinator of the British Astronomical Association’s Campaign for Dark Skies, which aims to turn back the tide of light pollution that has seriously affected our view of the stars over the last fifty years. Glare, light-intrusion and skyglow have become the norm nowadays, a situation hardly compatible with a society that is supposed to be saving energy and protecting the environment.

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