Recent years have seen a boom in “event astro-tourism” – travel to witness an eclipse, a meteor shower, or the Northern Lights. (AP Photo/Rene Rossignaud)
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With urbanization gaining pace and air pollution clouding the view in major cities, contemplating the stars in a pitch-black sky is fast becoming a rarity that tour operators are banking on as a new selling point.While space tourism may be the holy grail for the most committed of stargazers, its astronomical price tag puts it out of reach for most, not to mention health and safety concerns over forays beyond the atmosphere.Beyond just searching for familiar favorites like Orion's belt or the Big Dipper, Haenel says recent years have seen a boom in "event astro-tourism" – travel to witness an eclipse, a meteor shower, or the Northern Lights.In Idaho, the tourism sector is already in full gear to welcome an influx.After all for some on the planet, starry skies are already a thing of the past.Defenders of the "dark sky" warn that the space available is shrinking faster and faster due to light pollution, not just for star gazing, but also for nocturnal animals that thrive in the dark.
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