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Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

  • Frank Ryan
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Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative was created by Frank Ryan

Hi all.
So as you may or may not know I began a 'Dark Sky Initiative' last year and have been preparing to launch it for some time.
The initial idea I had was to create it as a separate entity with the 'backing' of SAC to promote dark sky awareness in the club areas (Limerick, Clare & Tipperary)
Soon I realized this was way to ambitious and decided to focus on the area of Lough Gur, simply because it has over the last while become
our new observing location and as a committee member of the Lough Gur Science Advisory Board I have a great working relationship with the management there.
Therefore, I changed the initiative from a broad '3 counties' one and decided to concentrate the efforts in and around the Lough Gur area. Specifically the area encircling the lake and designated as a heritage / wildlife sanctuary park.
With the support and backing of the Heritage Center we ran the 'Kick off' meeting last week where I invited Al White to speak on Light Pollution
and to ask him for information on the possibility of submitting an application to the International Dark Skies association for accreditation.
Although the numbers were low in attendance. (my fault - missed the advertising boat)
The meeting afforded us an opportunity to investigate the likelihood of success of such an application.
Thanks to the club members and Dave & Shea from the committee that came.

Albert recorded a SQM reading of 21.1 this is defiantly good news!
I've begun the ball rolling on the next steps for the project and will be busy in the coming months developing the project plan and going forward in conjunction with the heritage center, Albert and Brian of DSI. Much to do!


Launch of the SAC - Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

So show your support and Like and Share! :
Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative Facebook Page
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Last edit: 7 years 5 months ago by Frank Ryan.
7 years 5 months ago #103795

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Replied by Keith g on topic Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

Fair play to you Frank, I hope it is a great success, it's good to hear of any fight back against light pollution !

Keith..
If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
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7 years 5 months ago #103827

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

Great stuff Frank,
its great to have a good observing site only 20mins drive south of us, the light pollution reading is encouraging, looking forward to seeing how it pans out.
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
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7 years 5 months ago #103828

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

Frank and I did a recon after cosmos very very late last night at Lock Gur (4am :ohmy: , shattered now!) as we saw that on that way down the motorway, the sky was haze and cloud free.
This is an awesome site, !,the milkyway was beaming down from Cygnus right down through to Sagittarius, at one stage it looked like there were light small clouds coming in from the SE, nope it was the scutum star field and other areas around Sagittarius,

Frank, I think you're onto a winner here.
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
The following user(s) said Thank You: Frank Ryan
Last edit: 7 years 5 months ago by dave_lillis.
7 years 5 months ago #103857

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Replied by lunartic_old on topic Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

Sounds like a first class site, and I'm sure it will get a lot of use.

Paul
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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7 years 5 months ago #103863

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

Looking forward to checking out the site myself in the near future guys!

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
7 years 5 months ago #103894

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Replied by albertw on topic Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

Thanks for having me down, it's great to see interest in Dark Sky areas spreading.

It's a great site, large carpark, toilets, dark skies and good views south. It also has the benefit of already having the heritage center to showcase the existing cultural, archaeological and natural significance of the area.

The advantage as Dave points out is that it's about 20 minutes from Limerick. There are probably 500,000 within an hours drive of the site which combined with the existing qualities of the site makes it an ideal place for astronomy outreach and dark sky education.

All that would be useless however without someone local to drive it and Frank is doing a great job of getting this online.

Cheers,
~Al
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
7 years 5 months ago #103901

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

It is with great pleasure I get to say that Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Al Worden
attended and officially launched the Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative yesterday.
Thanks again Albert for all your help.
There is much work ahead but the ball is well and truly rolling on this now. :-)

frankryanjrastrophotography.weebly.com/u...3565/4097102.jpg?250
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Last edit: 7 years 3 months ago by Frank Ryan.
7 years 3 months ago #104218

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Replied by Paul Evans on topic Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

Brilliant, excellent work Frank!
IAA Webmaster, IFAS Rep and Past President
7 years 3 months ago #104219

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Lough Gur Dark Sky Park Initiative

A really great talk there Frank, it went down very well.
So now the hard work begins :)
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
7 years 3 months ago #104225

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