One of the best night skies in the entire world can be found on an island in north Wales, according to official recognition.
The Lln Peninsula's Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), which is the first location in Europe to receive certification as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
It joins 16 other locations recognized as being among the most inaccessible and dark places on earth.
According to the trust that owns the island, it was a "huge accomplishment.".
Wales already has a number of Dark Sky locations and reserves, but sanctuaries are much less common and have more stringent requirements for the quality of the night sky.
The trustees for the island are hoping that Wales will also become known as a "dark sky nation" as a result of the island's new status.
The award, according to Sian Stacey, chair of the island trust, is the result of many years of laborious effort.
There's no doubt that Ynys Enlli's achievement of this prestigious status will increase awareness of the island as a special location in Wales and among the best in the world to enjoy the night sky, according to her.
"We anticipate that it will significantly contribute to ensuring the island's long-term viability. ".
Due to its location and geographical characteristics, Ynys Enlli, which is two miles off the Lln Peninsula's tip, is one of the darkest places in the UK. .
Effectively blocking light from the mainland is the mountain on the island. Dublin, located over 70 miles (112.6 km) away across the Irish Sea, is where the majority of the light pollution is produced.
Evidence suggests it was inhabited as early as the Bronze age, and the island is known as the island of 20,000 saints due to the Celtic and Christian monasteries founded there beginning in the sixth century.
Today, a small community lives there and works the land and fishes from the island. There are ten vacation cottages as well, and visitors are welcome on the island from March to October.
One of the island's wardens, Mari Huws, participated in the certification procedure.
Living here, I am constantly in awe of the island's beauty, and the night sky is a big part of that, she said.
"Now that we have the certification, we look forward to welcoming guests here in the months and years to come and telling them about our special story.
"To be able to work to preserve something that is pristine for future generations is a privilege in a world that is becoming more and more polluted. ".
The International Dark Skies Association (IDA) will review the new certification on a regular basis, and Ms. Huws will be required to take measurements when the conditions are right and keep track of them.
The application included a four-year program using cutting-edge technology to monitor the island's night sky's quality and demonstrate that it is sufficiently dark to qualify.
A lighting management plan and visual proof were also required by the IDA for certification.
The development manager for Enlli, Menna Jones, thinks that the status will draw investment to the island and the surrounding area.
Working with the neighborhood is very important to Ynys Enlli, and over the next ten years, she said, "we'll be investing in the built environment, in the heritage, and we need to develop other projects that will enhance what's already there.".
"Since Ynys Enlli is a small, isolated community, it's good that everyone in Wales and the rest of the world will be watching. ".
The increase in light pollution worldwide coincides with Ynys Enlli's new dark sky status.
According to a recent global study, the night sky has grown brighter by 10% annually over the past 12 years, 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.