Mike Bacchus remembers the man as “Texan.” A few years earlier, Texan, until he was in his seventies, was a stranger to new ZealandLakestone Lodge, where Bacchus and his family live. The man had made his way out Texas in the Mackenzie area on the South Island in New Island to see the site, to see the spectacular views of violet lupins against the cloudy seas and the snowcapped mountains that rise above the unspoiled golden mountains. Little did he know that one of Mackenzie’s greatest achievements was revealed at sunset. In the darkest part of the world, the Milky Way floods cut down even the majestic Mount Aoraki, or Mount Cook.
One evening, Bacchus asked his visitor to come out. The first Texan tradition was hand-lifting. The stars were so bright they looked like they could lift and roll. Standing under a large celestial plate, the man bathed in the starlight and emotion. He told Bacchus that he was seeing a star clearly for the first time at the age of 10.
For Bacchus, the Texan fear was a reminder of how precious the night sky can be. “It felt so good at home. They just forgot about the Milky Way, ”says Bacchus.
Lakestone, a lodge on the brighter shores of Lake Pukaki, is located within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. From the lodge, the closest lights are about 100 miles away.
The site, which was selected in 2012 and covers more than 1,600 square miles, protects more than just a night vision. It offers relief from the effects of light pollution on all living things within its boundaries, from endangered species to people who have forgotten the Milky Way. Than Eighty percent of the world’s population they live under a degraded atmosphere, according to some studies Scientific Advancement. Even three hours from the location stored in Dunedin, where Maori astronomer Victoria Campbell grew up, stars are obscured.
“It was fun looking up and realizing what I didn’t see from our home in the city,” Campbell says of his first vision of heaven. He is attracted. “Ours he recited [family] consider moving to Mackenzie for nature, as well as the night sky. “
Home to a few thousand people, the Mackenzie Basin has always been one of the best places to observe the stars. That is, if not covered. As astronomer John Hearnshaw observes enthusiastically, Aoraki Mackenzie is “known as the black sky, not the cloudless sky.” Hearnshaw is a former director of the Mount John Observatory in Tekapo, a park, and has played a key role in protecting the darkness of the sky. He has been advocating air defense at night since the late 1970s. And he has not yet done so.
His home in Christchurch, Hearnshaw opens the book he wrote, New Zealand Black Big Book, and translate the map of Mackenzie district. He points his finger along the mountainside of the Southern Alps with dark blue lines as he describes how he and other fighters hope to expand the area to Fairlie Basin, which could grow in size. This is good news for all astronomers and just a few people in the region.
The dry Tussock of Mackenzie is home to moths and other insects found nowhere else on Earth. For example, Izatha psychra is a moth that is found only in one part of the shrub in the middle of the forest, where it weakens at the end. “The moth has very few people. I say a lot of people; I have not seen more than three moths a year, ”says Robert Hoare, an entomologist at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in New Zealand.