Stargazing

    You’ll be seeing stars with our helpful guide on what to look out for : Download Here

    Looking North

    Circumpolar Constellations – as the name suggests, these star groups circle the Celestial Pole – the point on the sky directly above the North Pole – and never set. For that reason they are constantly visible (from the Northern Hemisphere).

    Polaris – The Pole Star provides a good way to find North. Check out how to find Polaris using pointer stars in our guide.

    Cassiopeia – Look out for the group of stars forming a giant “M” or “W” (depending upon time of year). Cassiopeia is the vain & boastful mythical Queen of Ethiopia.

    Ursa Major – Latin for “the Great Bear”, this well-known constellation includes the seven stars that form “The Plough” (also referred to as “The Big Dipper”).

    Ursa Minor – Polaris marks the tail end of Ursa Minor, “the Little Bear” (also “The Little Dipper”). The two stars at the other end are Kochab and Pherkad and are known as Guardians of the Pole.

    Looking South

    Stars in the southern sky change with the seasons:

    Leo - In Spring, look for a group of stars in the shape of a reverse question mark. This is the head of the constellation known as Leo (the Lion).

    Cygnus ‘the Swan’ appears to be flying down the Milky Way. Look out for the Summer Triangle too - a formation of 3 bright stars; Deneb, Vega and Altair.

    Pegasus – the legendary winged horse is prominent in the Autumn. The body of Pegasus is formed by the Great Square. Despite its large size, there are relatively few stars in Pegasus compared with other constellations.

    Andromeda - Just beside Pegasus is our nearest large galaxy – Andromeda. It appears as a fuzzy stretched blob in the constellation of Andromeda, yet it is roughly twice the size of our own galaxy and is 2.5 million light-years away!

    Orion - In winter months, Orion ‘the Hunter’ from Greek mythology is prominent. His belt is easy to spot – formed by 3 bright stars.

    Star Maps –  Download Here

    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.

    CONTACT INFO

    Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre,
    National Parks & Wildlife Service,
    Ballycroy Village,
    Co. Mayo

    +353 (0)98 49 888



    Copyright © 2017 Mayo Dark Sky Park. All Rights Reserved.