Shenandoah Valley, located in gorgeous rural Virginia, is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the oldest mountain range in the world.

Shenandoah National Park, located at the northern section of the valley, struggles to maintain its dark skies as the surrounding towns such as Harrisonburg, Charlottesville and even as far back as Washington D.C, produce high levels of light pollution. Although the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division of the National Park aims to curb light pollution on federal lands across the United States, severe urban light pollution of surrounding towns often negates those efforts.

This video reveals an interesting phenomenon which occurred in Summer 2015, when endless storms hammered the east coast of the United States for weeks. During one night, the clouds from those storms blocked much of the light pollution, which coupled with the clarity of the atmosphere, provided a rare crystal clear sighting of the Milky Way from the high elevation of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This video, which premiered on BBC Earth, was filmed as part of SKYGLOW, an ongoing crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution in contrast with some of the most incredible Dark Sky Preserves in North America. You can support SKYGLOW by visiting WWW.SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM

A rare glimpse of the Milky Way over the Shenandoah Valley

The light pollution in the area is so intense that the Milky Way is hardly ever visible, but by sheer chance it appeared during the filming of a timelapse video