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Sligo Astronomy Group

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8 years 10 months ago #104707 by Derek Davey
Replied by Derek Davey on topic Sligo Astronomy Group
their is a few places up here that we meet up, Lough Easkey, Lough Talt, Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetary, and Parkes castle which is just across the Leitrim Border, all good spots but not near as dark as Ballycroy in Mayo, ther is still two places I have in mind that have Lodges, so im going to check them out on a dark night and see how the skies are, But I think to join forces with Ronans Nephin star party is the way forward as those skies will be just excellent, so it does look like next year ther will be a star party up this part of the country,

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8 years 10 months ago #104718 by R Newman
Replied by R Newman on topic Sligo Astronomy Group
Yes I agree there Dave, as you can see by my first post the one with the Google Earth shot is absolutely a C-road. I have always admired ye guys in Shannonside AC making Observing a big priority.

I dont think I have to say who it is plenty of posts about him here over the years.

Thanks

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8 years 10 months ago #104722 by Frank Ryan
Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Sligo Astronomy Group
Ha. Ya, I was on the points of just disappearing back to Facebook
But know what, I'm beyond it.
Anyway. Back to the actual OP
Best of luck Dereck, if you lads in Sligo Astronomy Group go observing sometime
Let us know.

My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers

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8 years 10 months ago #104724 by Neill
Replied by Neill on topic Sligo Astronomy Group
How does a dark sky park differ from a dark sky reserve, i.e. Kerry?

Looking at the IDS website, there seem to be quite a few gold tier ones in the States, but only Kielder in Northumbria and Galloway Forest Park in SW Scotland have gold tier status outside of the States.

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8 years 10 months ago #104727 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Sligo Astronomy Group

Neill wrote: How does a dark sky park differ from a dark sky reserve, i.e. Kerry?

Looking at the IDS website, there seem to be quite a few gold tier ones in the States, but only Kielder in Northumbria and Galloway Forest Park in SW Scotland have gold tier status outside of the States.


Hi,

The main difference is size.

For a reserve you need at least 770 km^2. A core area that is strictly protected and legally enforced can be surrounded by a typically 15km wide buffer zone that is still expected to adhere to good lighting practices. The areas must be an areas of exceptional dark skies. Because of the size and requirement for legal enforcement it is something that can only really be done on county council type level where lighting and development plans can be mandated. Some other areas in the country have looked at reserve status, but the size requirement is the problem, apart from West Kerry there is nowhere else really in the country that does not have at least a major town within a possible area; some of the sites also straddle multiple county councils which would make the bureaucracy potentially troublesome.

Dark sky parks can be of any size and on public or private land provided there is night time access. This is what all of the other areas I've spoken to in the country are aiming for.

It's important to point out that it's not simply a competition to see who has the darkest skies. Some areas that we've looked at would be bronze tier level, but their location is such that their potential for outreach, dark sky awareness, and promotion of lighting best practices may do more to educate than a large really dark reserve.

There are a couple of other designations but they don't fit well in Ireland:

A Dark Sky community is a municipality that gets dark sky status. However legally the community must be able to enact its own legislation to enforce lighting practices. In the USA small towns can mandate ordinances to accomplish this, but there is no such fine grained legal structure in Ireland. Typically the county council is as fine grained as it gets.

There is also a new category called a dark sky sanctuary. This is similar to a reserve but is designed for more remote regions in need of conservation. The only one so far is AURA Observatory in Chile. Had this been available sooner it's a designation that Kerry possibly could have considered.

All types of 'dark sky place' need access, outreach, a lighting inventory and lighting management plan in place, a commitment to meeting ongoing dark sky requirements and an ongoing dark sky monitoring programme etc.

The full details of exactly what is needed are in the pdf guidelines from darksky.org/idsp/

hth
Al

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
The following user(s) said Thank You: Neill

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8 years 10 months ago #104736 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Sligo Astronomy Group
Hi All,

As there were several posts in this thread going far off the original topic to the detriment of the original topic I've split them into another thread based purely on my opinion on whether they were at all relevant to Sligo Astronomy Group or Astronomy in Sligo in general.

If I have moved a post of yours that you feel I shouldn't have please accept my apologies in advance and just add your comment to this thread again. But out of respect to the folks in Sligo please keep it on topic.

Cheers,
~Al (first time actually moderating in years!)

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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