Stars at Night
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ABOUT THE MAYO DARK SKY FESTIVAL

 

Mayo Dark Sky Festival was established in 2016, to celebrate all facets of Mayo’s natural dark skies.  Organised by the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies following the gold tier accreditation of Mayo Dark Sky Park, it takes place in the communities around the Dark Sky Park – Newport, Mulranny and Ballycroy.

 

Our first festival focussed on astronomy but it has since expanded to cover all themes connected with dark skies including culture, wellbeing and biodiversity, as we learn more about the impacts of light pollution on all of these areas of our lives.

 

We want to share our passion for the pristine night skies of Mayo with as many people as possible.  Clear unpolluted skies are now, sadly, a rarity - the Milky Way is so obscured by the effects of modern lighting that it is no longer visible to over 50% of Irish people - and that figure is even higher for North America and mainland Europe.  Visitors can explore and enjoy Mayo Dark Sky Park all year round, and November is a particularly rewarding time to do so.  The skies are dark from 6pm, the weather can be mild, and there are some beautiful stars, constellations and planets to be seen, including Orion, Cassiopeia, double star Albireo and the beautiful Pleiades star cluster.  On a clear night, it really is quite magical.

 

Our festival continues to expand and grow, offering talks, walks, exhibitions, performances and family friendly events in a warm and welcoming environment.  Mayo’s rugged Atlantic seaboard offers a dramatic backdrop to a relaxed and fun-filled festival - why not join us?

FESTIVAL TEAM:

 

Fiona Hopkins

Georgia MacMillan

Carol Loftus

Margaret Flaherty

(with lots and lots of help from the rest of the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies and Newport Astronomy Club!)

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