Japan, Hokkaido, Nayoro City – Officials here have been beckoning stargazers to come and enjoy some of the most pristine dark skies in Japan at night.
The night skies above Nayoro are dark enough for sky-watchers to examine the complex glowing band of the Milky Way in detail, according to a ministry survey.
The municipal Nayoro Observatory sent an image taken this past summer of the night sky to the ministry, which started surveying the darkness levels of skies across Japan in fiscal 2018 based on photos taken by local officials and residents with digital cameras.
The ministry research is carried out biannually in summer and winter to raise awareness of light pollution and environmental preservation through stargazing.
According to the survey results released by the ministry late last year, the night sky image snapped by the Nayoro Observatory on Aug. 4 showed a sky darkness level of 21.1.
Higher darkness levels mean the sky in the background is darker and stars can be seen more clearly. In skies with a darkness level of 21 or higher, it is said that “the complex structure of the Milky Way can be examined and star clusters observed.”
Source and full English article: The Asahi Shimbun
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