In 2017 the Ramon Crater Nature Reserve in the Negev desert of southern Israel was awarded the first International Dark Sky Park in the Mideast. This international title recognizes sites around the world where the night sky is maintained in its natural state, preserving the unique appearance of the starry night sky in all its glory.
“The designation of the Ramon Crater as an International Dark Sky Park is a watershed moment in the history of the International Dark Sky Places Program. We have high hopes in the value of the new Dark Sky Park toward raising awareness of the threatened night sky elsewhere in Israel, as well as in the broader Middle East.” – IDA Executive Director J. Scott Feierabend.
This spectacular night sky is further preserved by the use of AGT™ Glow Stones. AGT™ ULTRA Grade ½” Emerald Yellow & Aqua Blue Glow Stones which were used in paving a 1/4 mile long, concrete Milky Way Trail in Mitzpe Ramon. These stones absorb natural UV light during the day, and glow in the dark at night, illuminating the trail for the public. Mimicking the milky way galaxy above, these glow in the dark stones, eliminate the need for artificial light, which would add light pollution and ruin the spectacular night sky vistas.
"I want to make people aware of a little-known, new special attraction in Mitzpe Ramon. I’ve lived here almost 10 years and didn’t discover it until last night. There is a new paved, serpentine trail that leads from the KKL forest at the entrance to town to the edge of the Machtesh. It’s roughly 1/4 mile long. What’s special is that it’s paved with iridescent stones that glow in the dark. It’s like walking down the Milky Way to the crater’s edge. At the end there’s a surprise ( I won’t spoil it by telling you) and a great view of the Machtesh below. This effect is obviously only visible in the dark, but it looks like a nice walk in the day time. Benches and explanations posted along the way. You don’t need a flashlight but useful if you want to look around." – Ira The Starman