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Cape Clear Island Seeks Dark Skies Status

9th May 2019
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The first Cape Clear Island Dark Skies event takes place over the weekend of Friday to Sunday, 22 to 24th May The first Cape Clear Island Dark Skies event takes place over the weekend of Friday to Sunday, 22 to 24th May

Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork is seeking to become one of only 22 Dark Sky sites worldwide officially recognised by the IDA ( International Dark Sky Association). These sites are dedicated to stargazing and are increasingly hard to find because of the amount of light created by modern living which makes it harder to see and appreciate the true beauty and wonder of the night sky.

Cape Clear lying 8 miles off the coast, like the other sites is remote from towns, cities and busy roads and is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Already famous for ornithology and whales, dolphins and basking shark its pristine night sky is another fantastic natural resource the Island has to offer.

Dark Skies events provide opportunities to view the night sky with the naked eye accompanied by experienced guides and astronomers, sharing their knowledge and appreciation of the splendour above our heads and breathing new life into the rich folklore, tradition and history associated with the night sky.

The first Cape Clear Island Dark Skies event takes place over the weekend of Friday to Sunday, 22 to 24th May and includes both night time and day time events and with support from Blackrock Castle Observatory and Cork Institute of Technology. There will be a range of speakers led by Dr Niall Smith of CIT and night photographer Cian Walsh.

The event was inspired by Shane O’Neill a teacher in the Island national school, who, living on its south side became impressed with the clarity of the night sky, often seeing shooting stars, planets and even the International Space station moving across the sky. Keeping up with celestial events quickly became a passion and one which he should like to share with others.

Published in Island News
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