Dark Sky

Discovery Center

The world's center for learning about the importance of dark skies and what lies beyond

Mission Categories


Provide STEM education experiences to students interested in the space sciences


Offer the Dark Sky Observatory’s research capabilities to university students


Serve as an international attraction for visitors of all ages


Emphasize the following critical reasons for preserving dark skies:


    Encourage reduction of unnecessary night lighting that annually wastes $3 billion in energy and results in millions of tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere


    Share the American Medical Association’s information about the adverse impact of improper lighting on human health


    Show the impact of excessive lighting on endangered species


    Demonstrate the serious impact of light pollution on nighttime pollinators and plants


    Emphasize the need to avoid depletion of natural resources to maintain a global ecological balance


    Give current and future generations the opportunity to observe the vastness and many wonders of a vibrant night sky

Support Statements

“As an engineer and former astronaut, I am excited to support the International Dark Sky Discovery Center’s mission to provide STEM education programs that will help inspire the next generation in the pursuit of space sciences and exploration”.

U.S. Senator Mark Kelly

“The International Dark Sky Discovery Center in Fountain Hills highlights Arizona’s leadership in innovation and commitment to protecting our unparalleled access to the night skies.”

U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema

“I am pleased to see that Fountain Hills may be expanding our Dark Sky community with the proposed International Dark Sky Discovery Center. This unique learning facility would be great for expanding STEM learning opportunities and would benefit all of Arizona.”

U.S. Congressman David Schweikert


“The International Dark Sky Discovery Center is an exciting opportunity for students and amateur star-gazers alike. The Center will be another tremendous asset to keep our state at the forefront of STEM education” 

Governor Doug Ducey, State of Arizona

“Arizona State University looks forward to developing a collaborative relationship with the International Dark Sky Discovery Center.”

Dr. Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University

“The International Dark Sky Discovery Center will be a unique regional asset, providing an incredible platform for STEM education and workforce development in Arizona.”  

Chris Camacho, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council

“Arizona’s continued success and recognition as the fastest growing technology community in the U.S. can be traced back to our roots in space-related industries including astronomy and aerospace and defense. It’s critical that we continue to support development and innovation in this industry through local organizations like the International Dark Sky Discovery Center.

Steven Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council

“Dark sky tourism is a major draw for the State of Arizona, and we believe the International Dark Sky Discovery Center will be an extraordinary asset for our state.”

Debbie Johnson, Executive Director, Arizona Office of Tourism

“Educating people about the wonders of the night sky and the importance of preserving dark skies is a goal we share with the International Dark Sky Discovery Center.”

Ruskin Hartley, Executive Director, International Dark Sky Association

“Dark skies are critical to Arizona’s multibillion-dollar astronomy industry, and we appreciate the efforts in Fountain Hills to maintain and promote dark skies in the Phoenix area and statewide.”

Dr. Jeffrey Hall, Director, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff

“The mission of public astronomy is inspiration, contemplation, and education.  We look forward to welcoming the International Dark Sky Discovery Center to this important public service.”

Mark Pine, Deputy Director, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

“As the 17th International Dark Sky Community in the world, our Town is a perfect location for the International Dark Sky Discovery Center and we strongly support the collaborative effort.”

Ginny Dickey, Mayor, Town of Fountain Hills 

“The Fountain Hills Chamber supports the development of the International Dark Sky Discovery Center.  We believe it will be a wonderful attraction for residents and visitors and a great benefit for local businesses.”

Betsy LaVoie, President & CEO, Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce