Flagstaff, Arizona is the first and only destination in the country to enter the non-fungible tokens market with the original NFT collection, “A Night in Flagstaff.” The Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition, in collaboration with Discover Flagstaff, will feature “70 images for $700 each from 7,000 feet,” dropping on the NFT calendar Thursday, April 21, to coincide with the peak of the 2022 Lyrid meteor shower and to help launch Dark-Sky Week (April 22 – 30), as designated by Governor Doug Ducey.

Each image is a 20-second exposure, the first taken beginning at 19:53 Feb. 5, 2022, Mountain Standard Time (02:53 February 6, 2022, Universal Time), the last at 21:02 MST (04:02 UT). The spectacular starry view is toward the North Northwest, including the iconic skyline of the sacred San Francisco Peaks, which includes the highest point in the state at 12,637 feet above sea level.

“Getting lost in the night sky from Flagstaff’s clear dark window on the Universe is a joy that doesn’t fade,” said NFT photographer and Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition President Chris Luginbuhl. “This extraordinary collaboration between the Coalition and Discover Flagstaff is an opportunity to answer the call for increased dark skies experiences and more ways for stargazers to engage with the beauty of night.”

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Proceeds from the NFT sales will support the Northern Arizona EONS (Eyes on Night Skies) research program, an effort to measure and monitor sky brightness. A non-fungible token or NFT is a unique unit of digital art data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger, that can be sold and traded. Types of NFT data units may be associated with digital files such as photos, videos, and audio.

Flagstaff was officially recognized as the World’s First International Dark Sky City on Oct. 24, 2001, for its pioneering work protecting the dark night sky from light pollution. Conserving the darkness is a community value embraced by local government, organizations, business owners, attraction operators, artists, and scientists.

“The experience of standing beneath a starry night sky can inspire feelings of wonder, while encouraging interest in science, in nature,” states Gov. Ducey’s proclamation.

Flagstaff night skies have been measured as less than 1/10th as bright as other cities of similar size that have not protected their skies. The Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition is a world leader in dark skies conservation, working with the community to set the gold standard for dark-skies friendly lighting and consulting with other communities about how to retain or recover their dark skies through “The Flagstaff Solution.”

The collection, “A Night in Flagstaff” is a limited series of 70 NFTs, each minted as a one-of-a-kind moment-in-time capturing the star-filled skies over Flagstaff’s Buffalo Park (latitude +35°.220, longitude -111°.632, elevation 7123 feet), a location less than two miles from Flagstaff City Hall. The first NFT has already been sold to the owner of Enriched Solar, a solar energy broker specializing in residential and commercial solar electric applications. “A Night in Flagstaff’’ is a treasure few have the opportunity to witness,” said Rich Naden. “I feel honored to hold a moment of the Universe’s artistry.”

Those interested in purchasing an NFT in the collection, “A Night in Flagstaff,” may do so by creating an OpenSea account. Polygon has been selected for use because it is a green-energy efficient blockchain that provides secure and instant transactions with Ethereum currencies. Polygon has reduced or zero wallet initialization fees and selling and buying NFTs through Polygon is gas free. “It is important to the Coalition to use a green-energy efficient blockchain, which minimizes buyers’ footprints,” said Luginbuhl.