Namibia’s NamibRand Nature Reserve, one of Africa’s largest private nature reserves, lies in one of the naturally darkest (yet accessible) places on Earth. It was established to help protect and conserve the unique ecology and wildlife of the southwest Namib Desert, and its mission now includes preservation of the area’s starry night skies. It shares a 60-mile (100-km) border with Namib-Naukluft National Park to the west and the Nubib mountains to the east. It is financially self-sustaining mainly through low impact tourism fees. “It’s a good place to stargaze because the air is very dry, and human habitation (i.e. light pollution) is minimal.”
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.