St Johns Town of Dalry, Caste Douglas, Scotland, DG7 3UP, GB
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Dark Skies


darkskylogosmallbw.jpgDue to its remoteness, the Galloway Forest Park has been awarded the status of being one of only four "Dark Sky Parks" in the western world, along with the Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah and Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania.  This means that the largest forest park in Scotland has become the only Dark Sky Park in the UK, causing double celebration amongst astronomers, as 2009 also marked the 400th anniversary of Galileo's astronomical discovery of the telescope.

Once the sun sets on the three hundred square miles of rugged wilderness that is the Galloway Forest Park, under an inky-blue sky they become the darkest in all of Europe. It is here that enthusiasts come to stand in awe, wonder and amazement at the vast universe which is revealed above them. Onlookers are given the rare chance to witness shooting stars; the Andromeda Galaxy, the Aurora Borealis and stellar nurseries, where new suns of distant planets are born.

The dark skies of the Galloway National Park allow man to be able to view the vast expanse of universe, from Earth. Being able to view the twinkling star-studded sky is a uniquely human pleasure, that if we are not careful, may slip from our grasp in most parts of the world due to increasing light pollution. The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has set up this award in high hopes to reduce light pollution, as unnecessary amounts are leaking and hiding the raw beauty of the night sky and it is this that is having harming effects on both wildlife and humans.

For all the latest Dark Sky Park News and upcoming events, please visit the Forestry Commission Scotland Dark Skies web pages.