Our friend Harun Mehmedinovic of SKYGLOW wrote:
On a remote island hours away from Key West [Florida] lies the largest masonry structure in the Americas: Fort Jefferson. Built with 16 million bricks, but never finished, the fort served as a prison during Civil War. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, upon visiting the island, named it a National Monument, and in 1992 it became part of Dry Tortugas National Park.
Besides serving as a safe haven for the most preserved coral reef in the United States, the set of islands that comprise the national park also protect countless marine animals and bird species. However, the true treasure of this amazing place was noted by one of its most famous prisoners, Dr. Samuel Mudd, who once noted that the the only escape from the hell of this prison was gazing at the night skies. Today, Dry Tortugas National Park is the darkest spot on the east coast.
Harun told us that the footage in this video is special because the National Park Service does not normally allow night photography at the park, but made an exception for this project.
This video was filmed as part of SKYGLOW, an ongoing crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution in contrast with some of the most incredible dark sky areas in North America. You can see more info on the video here.
Bottom line: Time-lapse of night skies over Florida’s Dry Tortugas National Park.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.