Foot Bridge at Ballycroy in Dark Sky

    Find the North Star

    The North Star (‘Polaris’) is a star a little hotter than our own Sun. It lies almost exactly above the Earth’s North Pole, so remains in place as the Earth rotates. Sailors have used it to navigate for centuries. The Plough is shaped a bit like a saucepan. If you draw an imaginary line from the two stars furthest from its 'handle', it will direct you to the North Star.

    Once you have learned to identify The North Star, you can begin your journey as a Natural Navigator and use it as a pointer to discover other constellations. Take a look at our Stargazing and Constellation links to find your way around the night sky.

    North Star Navigation Diagram

    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