Why NJ is the third worst state in the U.S. for stargazing
A buck moon (also known as a super moon) is a full moon that’s slightly closer to Earth than on average.
On July 3, 2023, the full “Buck Moon” will rise into summer skies in the northern hemisphere to become the first supermoon of 2023—and the first of four.
When this happens, people start looking up to the skies. According to American Casino Guide, stargazing has increased 130% in the past week alone! They’re looking for any celestial objects, but they especially look for stars. But unfortunately, stargazing in NJ is difficult. Why? We’ve got a lot of light pollution here in the state.
Light pollution is whatever hangs around in the atmosphere and interferes with your ability to see things in the sky.
The Bortle scale is a nine-level numeric scale that measures the night sky's brightness in a particular location. It tells you how observable certain celestial objects are (or how unobservable) depending on an area’s degree of light pollution.
A Bortle scale rank of 1-3 would mean the least light pollution, and thus the most optimal for stargazing. American Casino Guide created a definitive list of the top 10 states to stargaze in.
Our state has no areas at all that fall within numbers 1-3 on the bottle scale.
In fact, we’re the 3rd lowest in the country. We also have a yearly average of 12.79% cloud coverage.
Rhode Island is the worst place to try to stargaze but the best state in the country for stargazing is North Dakota with a high percentage of the state having an ‘excellent dark sky’ (Bortle Scale 1), the highest of all U.S. states.
So the next time you’re in a romantic mood and want to gaze up at the stars or you’re just interested in watching them twinkle in the sky you might have to travel to a different state to get the best view.
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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