The UK’s Dark Skies Festival begins today, offering stargazing in the best light – real dark. Our writer spies the heavens in North Yorkshire
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Almost everything we know about the universe has come from observation of the night sky but true darkness is becoming harder to find. Dark skies help to maintain our circadian rhythm – and enable us to sleep soundly. They also keep the natural behaviour of animals in line with the seasons. In terms of dark-sky spaces, there are now movements in place to preserve these areas, which are invaluable to astronomers. Among them is Dark Sky Discovery, a network of UK astronomy groups that lists and ranks around 100 sites across the country.