The Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve: One Of The Best Places In Europe To Stargaze

Take me away... a million miles away from here...

kerry dark sky reserve
Photo by Tom Archer via Tourism Ireland

If you’ve a thing for the stars, then keep on readin’.

Did you know (I definitely didn’t up until around 2 months ago) that there’s a place in Kerry that has been designated as Ireland’s very first International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association?

Oh, and it’s also one of only 3 Gold Tier Reserves on the planet, and the only Gold Tier Reserve in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sounds cool, but what does it mean?

It means that on a clear night the sky in this part of Ireland is scattered with astronomical sights that you can gander at with the naked eye.

You can kick back without any equipment and be treated to a show that’ll knock the breath from your lungs.

The video above from Madeleine Maria Weber offers a glimpse at what you can expect.

What you’ll see and when’s the best time to visit

On a clear night you’ll be treated to a view of:

  • Constellations with many more stars than those that are shown on the usual sky maps
  • The beautiful band of the Milky Way
  • The Andromeda Galaxy
  • Star Clusters and Nebula’s

Naturally enough, you’ll be depending on the weather if you’re planning a visit.

Pro Tip: According to the lads at Dark Sky Reserve Kerry, if you’re planning a visit, make sure to consider the position of the Moon. The Moon’s cycle is 28 days, so each month has only 7 dark nights with no moonlight to interfere with your view of the heavens above.

This is definitely one for the bucket list.

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