High Exposure Dark Sky Scenery

    Useful Links

    Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park

    Management team of Mayo Dark Sky Park. Ballycroy National Park is Ireland’s sixth National Park (est 1998) and located on the Western seaboard in northwest Mayo. It comprises of 11,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoiled wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range. www.wildnephinnationalpark.ie

    The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)

    Based in the USA, a non-profit organisation working to preserve and protect our night sky heritage for future generations. Their Award winning flagship conservation programme promotes stewardship of the night sky. www.darksky.org

    Dark Sky Ireland

    Promoting and preserving Ireland's Dark Skies. Formerly the Irish Light Pollution Campaign, Dark Sky Ireland became an official dark sky chapter of the IDA in 2003. www.darksky.ie

    Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies

    The Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies (IFAS), an umbrella group of Astronomical Clubs & Societies represented throughout Ireland. www.irishastronomy.org


    Mayo County Council’s official visitor site for information on living, working or visiting County Mayo. www.mayo.ie

    Leave No Trace

    We are Leave No Trace Members. Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethics programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and memberships. www.leavenotraceireland.org

    Newport Astronomy Club

    Within easy access of Mayo Dark Sky Park, Newport Astronomy Club was formed in 2016 and has an active event calendar online. New members welcome. www.newportastronomyclub.com

    Night Blight – Reclaiming our Dark Skies

    A UK based organisation, CPRE, works to protect the night skies in rural England and has produced some useful research and guides on how to combat light pollution. nightblight.cpre.org.uk/what-is-light-pollution

    Handy Websites

    Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

    Learn how to read the graphs to give an accurate forecast for mid latitude activity. Use these sites to gather information before observing or photographing the sky at night.
    Spaceweather www.spaceweather.com
    Willowbank Observatory www.marsport.org.uk/observatory

    Position of Stars, Planets, Moon etc. etc.

    Astroviewer iss.astroviewer.net
    Heavens above www.heavens-above.com
    Skymaps www.skymaps.com
    Stellarium is a free open source planetarium software. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. www.stellarium.org


    Photo credits: Astrophotography shots featured on this website have been used with permission of the following local photographers:

    Brian Wilson Photography - Brian Wilson Flickr
    Stephen Hanley Photography - Stephen Hanley Flickr
    Conor Ledwith Photography - Conor Ledwith Photography
    Mike Kinsella Photography - Mike Kinsella Photography

    Welcome to Mayo Dark Sky Park. Mayo is now home to Ireland’s first International Dark Sky Park, showcasing some of the darkest, most pristine skies in the world.

    Where the darkest skies reveal the brightest stars.


    Wild Nephin National Park,
    Ballycroy Visitor Centre,
    National Parks & Wildlife Service,
    Ballycroy Village,
    Co. Mayo
    +353 (0)98 49 888