Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is located in western Scotland, about 67 miles (107 km) northwest of Edinburgh. The park encompasses some 720 square miles, and 50% of Scotland’s population lives within an hour’s drive of the park. Yet once visitors are north of the towns clustered around the southern end of Loch Lomond, darkness prevails. An EarthSky user describes the benefits of the national park: “A large part of the national park has dark skies and is easy to access from the large urban areas to the south. Not only is the Milky Way clearly visible, but it is also a location where the northern lights can regularly be seen. Deep-sky objects are visible in far more detail to the naked eye than in urban areas. The park has many campsites and parking areas where the night sky can be viewed and telescopes set up.”
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.