Grossmugl is a small town about 20 miles (35 km) north of Austria’s capital Vienna. In spite of its vicinity to this European metropolis, the night sky there is still largely intact. The Grossmugl Star Walk is a self-guided tour encouraging astronomical observations with the unaided eye. Nine displays along the trail explain general astronomical topics in an easy-to-read way. On a 90-minutes walk, visitors learn how to spot star colors, artificial satellites, the Milky Way and other objects in the night sky. The 1.5-km-long tour is free of charge, open all year round, day and night, and available without booking or reservation. Although some light pollution is evident near the horizon, limiting magnitudes of 6.0 magnitude or better are frequent (in other words, you can often see the night sky to the limit of viewing with the unaided eye).
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.