General Information

There are very few things as awe inspiring as a night sky full of stars. And Ireland has some of the best viewing spots in Europe, despite our weather!

The image to the left was taken from the International Space Station and shows the amount of light emitted by Ireland at night. It is easy to make out the major cities, in particular Dublin, but what you can’t see is just as impressive. There are entire chunks of Ireland in complete darkness. This makes these sites ideal for stargazing. You can even see the dark patch around the Wicklow mountains. However, the glare from Dublin means you need to look south, and that means you miss out on viewing the incredible spectacle that is the Aurora Borealis. If you’re in the West this is not an issue, and there are a number of aurora viewing opportunities from Mayo and Connemara.

The impact of light pollution on wildlife, and humans, has been well studied, and is worth a quick Google, but the simulation below shows exactly how much people in urban areas miss out on. There is nothing that makes us feel so small and at the same time inspires us so much as the night sky, so if you’re planning a weekend away and want to see something that offer amazement to children and romance to adults head out West. In particular around August 11-13 each year go for a late walk and see the amazing Perseids meteor shower with up to 100 shooting stars an hour.

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Head out West for some of the best dark skies in Europe. Just check the weather first!

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