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Flagstaff marks 20 years as the First International Dark Sky City

October marks 20 years since Flagstaff became the First International Dark Sky City. The designation is given to towns and cities that promote and implement ideas for preserving dark skies. The city created the International Dark-Sky Places Program for other areas also embracing sky protections. They include Sedona, Camp Verde, Grand Canyon National Park, Cottonwood, Sunset Crater and Walnut Canyon national monuments and Petrified Forest National Park. According to the Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition, a recent scientific review shows Flagstaff is 25% fainter than similar-size towns when viewed from orbit. A study by the U.S. Naval Observatory predicts the overall brightness of Flagstaff’s sky will increase by only 10% in the next 50 years because of the community’s commitment to “night-friendly lighting.” Local festivities are planned for Sunday, October 24th.