​Preserving the starry, starry night

"We came here as astronomers, amateur astronomers, to enjoy the skies without interference from light pollution," said Bob Newman at nearby Davis Mountain, another no-outdoor-light development. He came here for a night sky that still entrances.

And how many of us are lucky enough to say this? "You can read by the light of Venus," said Newman. "You certainly can read by the light of the full moon. The Milky Way comes up and looks like clouds in the sky.

"You take a look at the moon like this and you say, look how beautiful that moon looks! How large it is!"

And, says Dilulio, the moon is just the beginning of exploration. He believes there is still plenty to learn about the universe from gazing at a truly dark night sky.

"There's a lot more things out there that we don't know about, and that's what's exciting," he said. "Maybe we can still discover. We can still be those explorers, and that's not over. And our children and our descendants will have that opportunity to discover -- that's what needs to happen."

"And if you can keep the light pollution away," said Petersen, "they could actually stand here and do some of that?"

"That's right -- that's what we hope to do here."

Here, one of the last places where modern man can look up and see what our ancient ancestors saw, trembling, delighting, or just basking in nature's nightlight.

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