Josh Chamot, features editor for Space.com, contributed this article to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insight.
Some of the most beautiful night skies in the United States can be found on public lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Because the landscapes are pristine and untouched — preserved as part of the BLM mission, for future generations of Americans — the nights are truly dark and free of the light pollution plaguing many areas of the country. In honor of International Dark Sky Week, BLM posted this stunning series of images captured on our public lands by their photographer, Bob Wick — and for more incredible images of American wilderness, follow BLM on tumblr.
Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument, Arizona
Sonoran Desert, Arizona
Piper Mountain Wilderness, California
Rio Grande, New Mexico
Kingston Range Wilderness, California
California Coastal National Monument, California
Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Space.com.