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15 Breathtaking Views of the Night Sky That You Rarely Get to See

Observing the night sky and the natural wonders of the world has entranced humans for millennia. Once the sun sets and day turns to night, the sky takes on a light show of its own with stars and—if the viewer is so lucky—the Milky Way, among other stunning natural phenomena.

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Beautiful night sky. Elements of this image furnished by NASASkylines/Shutterstock

The brilliance of the night


The night sky in all its spectacular wonder—we know you’ve seen it, but have you really seen it? Our country’s national parks are the perfect place to view the wonders of the night sky without disruption. Take a look at some photos of the beauty of national parks’ night skies below.

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Milky Way Galaxy behind Double Arch sandstone rock formation in Arches, National Park, UtahArthur Cauty/Shutterstock

Arches National Park

The Milky Way above the Double Arch sandstone rock formation in Arches National Park. Only able to visit during the day? Check out these other spectacular photographs of America’s national parks that will leave you awestruck.

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The Milky Way rising above Longs Peak and Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National ParkHale Kell/Shutterstock

Rocky Mountain National Park

The Milky Way above Longs Peak and Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Silex Spring, Yellowstone National Park under the night sky. Mike Ver Sprill/Shutterstock

Yellowstone National Park

Silex Spring at night in Yellowstone National Park. If you think this is gorgeous, wait till you see these beautiful shots of national parks covered in snow.

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Milky way over Great Basin national parkAsif Islam/Shutterstock

Great Basin National Park

The Milky Way illuminated over Great Basin National Park. Thinking of spending the night in a national park? Here are a few of the best places to camp in national parks.

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milky way above saint mary lake in glacier national park, montana, on summer nightFloridaStock/Shutterstock

Glacier National Park

The Milky Way above Saint Mary Lake in Glacier National Park.

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Double Arch in Arches National Park in Utah under the night sky.Amanda Carden/Shutterstock

Arches National Park

Another gorgeous shot of the Double Arch under the night sky in Arches National Park. Find out what park rangers want you to know before going to a national park to take pictures.

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Stars Over Bryce Canyon in Bryce Canyon National ParkMichael Sherman/Shutterstock

Bryce Canyon National Park

A beautiful night sky at Bryce Canyon in Bryce Canyon National Park.

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Grand Canyon National ParkAlexey Suloev/Shutterstock

Grand Canyon National Park

The night sky above Grand Canyon National Park. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when taking pictures in national parks.

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Milky Way Galaxy at night in Joshua Tree National Park, CaliforniaChones/Shutterstock

Joshua Tree National Park

The Milky Way lights up the sky at night in Joshua Tree National Park.

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Milky way over Mt. Moran, Jackson lake, Grand Teton National Park Yongyut Kumsri/Shutterstock

Grand Teton National Park

The Milky Way over Mt. Moran in Grand Teton National Park.

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Panorama Milky way at Big Bend National park, Texas USA. Constellation and galaxyWisanu Boonrawd/Shutterstock

Big Bend National Park

A panorama image of the Milky Way at Big Bend National Park in Texas. Looking to explore more than just the usual parks you know about? Make sure you know these off-the-beaten-path U.S. national parks.

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Night shot of Balanced Rock at Arches National Park in Utah, with the Milky Way visible in the dark sky.Bill Kennedy/Shutterstock

Arches National Park

A stunning night shot of Balanced Rock at Arches National Park with the Milky Way visible in the dark sky.

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This is the picture of Black Pool at night with mikyway and stars at Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, USA.Nat Chittamai/Shutterstock

Yellowstone National Park

The Black Pool looking both eerie and beautiful at night in Yellowstone National Park. Check out more stunning photos that’ll make you appreciate the beauty of life.

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Santa Elena Canyon under the Milky Way - Big Bend National ParkStanley Ford/Shutterstock

Big Bend National Park

The Santa Elena Canyon is illuminated under the Milky Way in Big Bend National Park in Texas.

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Night Landscape Photos from Joshua Tree National ParkDigati Photography/Shutterstock

Joshua Tree National Park

An ethereal night landscape photo taken in Joshua Tree National Park. Next, don’t miss these photos of the world’s most amazing trees.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest