Long Key State Park is located 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Islamorada in Florida. Hurricanes have caused much damage over the years, from the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 that destroyed Henry Flagler’s Long Key Fishing Camp to Hurricane Irma in 2017 that damaged the 60 ocean-front campsites that are still being repaired. An EarthSky stargazer explains the appeal of Long Key State Park: “Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with no nearby cities, this is a good dark place at night. The campsites back up directly to the ocean. Skies are often clear, especially in winter. Breezy but mild winter nights are the perfect time to sit outside and stargaze. Summer nights are usually good too. Bring insect repellent in summer. The island is very narrow at this point. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets are both over water. Sunset is visible by going to the 2nd floor platform on the restroom building.”
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.