For amazing views of the stars, visit a dark-sky park; the newest one is in Arizona

If you’re looking for a better view of distant stars, planets or the Milky Way, head to Tonto National Monument in Arizona.

The desert park northeast of Phoenix is the newest spot to be designated an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association, reports The Arizona Republic, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.

That designation is bestowed on areas worldwide that take steps to make it easier for people to enjoy the night sky without the distractions of light pollution.

Achieving this designation involves retrofitting light fixtures and bulbs, acquiring data for darkness analysis and monitoring and interpreting the importance of preserving darkness.

Assistance from staff, the National Park Service Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division, the local community, nonprofit partners and other governmental organizations made the designation possible, according to a press release from the National Park Service and the International Dark-Sky Association.

There are dozens of Dark Sky Places around the world, as designated by the association.

Find out more

Tonto National Monument: The monument is about 110 miles east of central Phoenix via State Route 87 and SR 188. Visitor center is open 8 a.M.-5 p.M. Daily. $10 per person, free for age 15 and younger. 928-467-2241, www.Nps.Gov/tont.

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International Dark-Sky Association: www.Darksky.Org.

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