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Image of the Day: June 2014

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Credit: Manish Mamtani/US Department of the Interior
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Above: The majestic sandstone bridges of Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah invite you to ponder the power of water in a landscape usually defined by its absence. Hang around after dark for a view of the landscape that few ever see.

Located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of the Four Corners boundary of southeast Utah, Natural Bridges was declared a National Monument in 1908. The park’s three bridges are named Kachina, Owachomo and Sipapu in honor of the Native Americans that once made this area their home. A natural bridge is formed through erosion by water flowing in the streambed of the canyon.

Here, the night skies are as awe-inspiring as the bridges. Some of the darkest night skies in the United States are in Natural Bridges National Monument. In 2007, the International Dark-Sky Association named Natural Bridges the first International Dark-Sky Park, which is a designation that recognizes that the park has some of the darkest and clearest skies in all of the United States. [Related: 6 Stellar Places for Skywatching in the US]

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