Dark Sky Alqueva is located in Monsaraz in southern Portugal, near the largest artificial lake in Europe and about 40 miles (60 km) southeast of Evora. Billed as “the first starlight tourism destination in the world,” Dark Sky Alqueva is a region with low light pollution and some 286 clear nights a year. The Official Dark Sky Observatory in Cumeada gives guided tours of the night sky with the unaided eye, binoculars and high-quality telescopes. Astrotourism is common in the area with unique features such a night tours by canoe, solar observing, astrophotography workshops plus an astrophotography exhibition and mini museum, and restaurants that provide take away meals for those wishing to dine far past normal operating hours.
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.