As part of its 2013 proposal for International Dark Sky Park
certification by the Mayland Community College Blue Ridge Observatory Star
Park, in Spruce Pine, N.C., commercial photographer Todd Bush submitted a series of
photographs depicting views from the site.
Left: One of Bush's "All-Sky Images," compositing
shots from a Nikon DSLPR with an 8mm fisheye lens, rotated to all four
compass points. Exposure time was 20 seconds.
"Views of the Milky Way from this site are simply
stunning," wrote Bush. "[B]inocular and telescope views into this
awesome sky-filling presence will find many objects to enjoy, from the tendrils
of its fiery arms to the deep recesses of rich surrounding dark skies!"
The Blue Ridge Observatory Star Park was certified an International Dark-Sky Park in February 2014, becoming the first such park in
the southeastern U.S.; the first operating under an institution of higher
learning; and the first to maintain outdoor lighting consisting of
fully-shielded, low-color-temperature LED fixtures.