Dark Skies and The Dark Skies Organisation
Dark Skies are a must for all those who wish to enjoy the best that the night sky has to offer. As you can see from the map below, there are few places throughout Europe that can truly be described as 'Dark'. Here in Scotland, and in particular, the west coast of Scotland we have what are widely recognised as the best dark skies in Europe. The key to a dark sky is fairly obvious, the lack of light pollution. As a civilisation, as we have developed, so have our towns, cities and urban environment. Here in Scotland, you do not have to travel far to find dark skies and you may be surprised just how accessible truly dark skies are.
Here on the West Coast of Scotland we are lucky to enjoy little or no light pollution and here on the west coast of Kintyre we have an abundance of dark skies. The lack of urban sprawl and industrial installations mean that light pollution in many areas of Kintyre is pretty much non existent. The white star on the map below shows where the first designated 'Dark Skies Discovery Site' in Argyll & Kintyre is located. This location is on the west coast of Kintyre with open views across the Atlantic. The main land mass of the Kintyre peninsula and the Isle of Arran to the east shields the area from the light pollution that spills out from Glasgow and the Ayrshire coast. This makes this location ideal for astronomy and astro photography, with clear un-polluted air and truly dark skies. In fact, this 'Dark Skies Discovery Site' is of Milky Way class. What this means in real terms is that the Milky Way in all its glory, is clearly visible with the naked eye. What can be seen with just a pair of binoculars is inspiring, and if you then view the night sky through a telescope, you will be richly rewarded with crisp images of our neighbouring planets and even deeper space objects.