Col de la Bonette—not to be confused with the nearby Col de Restefond—is a high mountain pass in the French Alps, near the border with Italy. Col de la Bonette is situated within the Mercantour National Park at an elevation of 8,907 feet (2,715 m), making it one of the highest pavedroads in Europe. The site also offers options for walking/hiking. A stargazer told EarthSky the following: “Mercantour National Park in the French Alps is a sparsely inhabited area with very little light pollution. I’ve never seen the stars and the Milky Way brighter. You can drive up the mountain pass by car and walk the final meters to the Cime de la Bonette at 2,860 meters, with all other mountains below you.”
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded 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.