This remote island—located 120 kilometers from Taiwan and 125 kilometers from Ishigaki—is the southernmost and westernmost inhabited point in Japan. Yonaguni Island is accessible by airplane and has become famous for great scuba diving, a strong local sochu drink and feral horses. The nearby island of Ishigakijima hosts an astronomical observatory with a 40-inch (1 m) telescope. The darkness of the night sky at Yonaguni ranges from level 3 to 2 in the Bortle scale, making them very suitable for stargazing. The site has been described to EarthSky as follows: “This small Okinawa Island is a great place to look in all directions for a flat, dark horizon. Dark. Many open areas. Rocky points, hilltops, beaches, even country roads, all offer easy viewing any clear evening. Little or no traffic, too.”
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.