GMOS Perfect Spiral

Dark Sky Places

Scotland has some of the largest areas of dark sky in Europe. Dark skies are found in rural areas that are free of urban light pollution. From a city centre location we might see fewer than 100 stars with our naked eyes. Under a dark sky we can see over 1,000 stars. We can even see our own galaxy, The Milky Way, stretching across the sky.

Light Pollution United Kingdom Light Pollution Europe

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Dark Sky places are areas or sites that have been officially recognised for their low levels of light pollution and good public access.

Dark Sky Parks. This is highest dark sky status achieved by any area in the UK, when Galloway Forest became one of the first Dark Sky Parks in Europe. Dark Sky Park status is awarded by the International Dark Sky Association.

Dark Sky Communities. Dark Sky Community status is also awarded by the International Dark Sky Association.

Dark Sky Discovery Sites. These are specific sites that are the best local places to see the night sky. It can be a location within a wider dark sky area, or simply be the best dark sky site within a town or city. In March 2009, Glen Nevis, near Fort William, and Newbattle Abbey in Dalkeith, became the world’s first Dark Sky Discovery Sites. Discovery Site status is awarded by Dark Sky Scotland.

The website My Dark Sky is building up records of light pollution surveys in the UK.