Of course! As the skies are getting darker, now is the perfect time to venture out and enjoy an evening stargazing. There are 78 Dark Sky Parks across the world, and Ireland is home to 3! They’re by far the best places to find the clearest skies and brightest stars.
First up, the Dark Sky Park
in County Mayo is nestled between Nephin Mountain range and the Atlantic coastline. On a dark night, you’ll be able to spot over 4,500 twinkling stars and even the Milky Way can be seen by the naked eye. As a Gold Tier level park, this Dark Sky Park is recognised across the globe as one of the best places to view the night sky.
Further down the Wild Atlantic Way, you’ll find Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve
. Located between the Kerry Mountains and the Atlantic ocean, the natural setting provides protection from light-pollution resulting in inky dark skies and dazzling stars. Take in the breath-taking night sky above, whilst listening to the waves lap below. On a clear night, the Milky way, Andromeda Galaxy and more can be seen! Experts have discovered some Ogham-language inscriptions in this region, and it’s believed they depict celestial observations from thousands of years ago.
And then there’s the OM Dark Sky Park
in Northern Ireland. Ideally located in the Sperrin Mountains, the lack of light pollution here means the night sky can be seen at its darkest, and the stars above can be seen at their brightest. The Dark Sky Observatory allows great views of the sky above and will teach you all about what you see!
Can our community members suggest any other stargazing spots to enjoy?