dark skies

Victoria Girgis, Lowell Observatory

A new kind of broadband internet is coming to Tuba City on the Navajo Nation, one beamed down from space by so-called “satellite constellations.” This technology can provide much-needed internet access in rural areas. But it comes with a dilemma. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the new satellites are so bright and so numerous, astronomers worry about the future of the night sky. 


Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Grand Canyon National Park every summer to marvel at the geology. But to an astronomer, the view gets even better after the sun goes down. The canyon’s first ever “astronomer-in-residence” is Tyler Nordgren. He spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny from the canyon about why he plans to spend the next month inspiring visitors to look up at the stars.

Victoria Girgis/Lowell Observatory

SpaceX launched 60 new Starlink satellites into orbit last week, in their quest to expand Internet access across the globe. The company hopes to have 1500 in orbit by the end of the year, and other companies are planning launches, too. That could mean tens of thousands of new satellites in the sky, which is bad news for astronomers. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Lowell Observatory director Jeff Hall about how these “satellite constellations” threaten astronomical research.

Melissa Sevigny: Are they brighter than the usual satellite up there?

Harun Mehmedinovic/SKYGLOW Project

Tomorrow the Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate its new status as an International Dark Sky Park. The certification honors the park’s efforts to retrofit or replace thousands of inefficient light fixtures over the past three years. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with park ranger Rader Lane about why Grand Canyon is joining this international effort to combat light pollution.


Grand Canyon National Park has been recognized for its work in reducing light pollution of the night sky.

Harun Mehmedinovic/skyglowproject.com

There’s something different about the streetlights in Flagstaff, Ariz., these days. They’re part of an experiment to find a lightbulb that won’t outshine the town’s starry night skies. 

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend, coinciding with the new moon. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on how to see it. 

NASA/Bill Dunford

There is a shower in tonight’s forecast—not of rain or snow, but shooting stars. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Bob Wick, BLM

Electronic billboards are restricted in most of Arizona to protect dark skies for astronomers. Now lawmakers have lifted the ban in a region of Mohave County. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Michael McNamara/Arizona Republic

Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation that allows electronic billboards to be erected in some areas of Mohave County where they are now banned to protect the state's astronomy industry.