One of the world's best night skies can be found on an island in north Wales, which has received official recognition.
Off the Lln Peninsula, Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) has received certification as the first location in Europe to be an International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
It joins a group of 16 locations regarded as the most inaccessible and dark places on earth.
It was a "huge achievement," according to the trust that owns the island.
Wales already has a number of Dark Sky locations and reserves, but areas that have been designated as sanctuaries are much more uncommon and have stricter requirements for the quality of the night sky.
The trustees of the island are hoping that the new status will increase the island's visibility and establish Wales as a "dark sky nation.".
The award was the result of many years of arduous work, according to Sian Stacey, chair of the island trust.
The achievement of this prestigious status for Ynys Enlli, according to her, "will without a doubt raise the profile of the island as a unique place in Wales and among the best in the world to appreciate the night sky.".
"We hope it will also contribute significantly to ensuring the island's long-term sustainability. ".
The Lln Peninsula's tip is two miles offshore, and Ynys Enlli is there. Due to its location and geographic characteristics, it is one of the darkest places in the UK. .
The island's mountain acts as a strong barrier, cutting off light from the mainland. Over 70 miles (112.6 kilometers) across the Irish Sea, Dublin is where the majority of the light pollution is produced.
Evidence suggests it was inhabited as early as the Bronze age, and because of the Celtic and Christian monasteries that have been there since the sixth century, it is known as the island of 20,000 saints.
A small community currently resides there, working the land and fishing from the island. Additionally, there are ten vacation cottages; guests are welcome on the island from March to October.
The certification process was participated in by Mari Huws, one of the island's wardens.
"I am constantly in awe of the island's beauty living here, and the night sky is very much a part of that," she said.
"Now that we've obtained the certification, we're eager to welcome guests here in the upcoming months and years and tell them about our special story.
It is a privilege to be able to work to preserve something pristine for future generations in a world that is becoming more and more polluted. ".
Ms. Huws will be required to take measurements when the conditions are right and keep a record of them for the new certification, which will be routinely reviewed by the International Dark Skies Association (IDA).
In order to demonstrate that the island's night sky is sufficiently dark to qualify, a four-year program using cutting-edge technology was implemented as part of the application.
For the certification, the IDA also required a lighting management plan and visual proof.
The development manager for Enlli, Menna Jones, thinks that the island's and the region's favorable status will draw in investment.
Working with the neighborhood community is crucial to Ynys Enlli, and over the next ten years, the organization will invest in the built environment, the heritage, and other projects that will improve what is already in place.
It's good that everyone in Wales and the rest of the world will be watching Ynys Enlli because it's a small, isolated community. ".
The increase in global light pollution coincides with Ynys Enlli's new dark sky designation.
A recent global study found that since 2006, the night sky has become 10% brighter annually, which means that a child born in an area where 250 stars could be seen would likely see fewer than 100 stars in the same location 18 years later.