Where are the world’s darkest skies?

Light pollution is the astronomer’s enemy but we know how you can avoid it

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The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand has been certified as a location of exceptionally dark skies. Image Credit: IDA

The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand has been certified as a location of exceptionally dark skies. Image Credit: IDA

Asked by Keith Collins

The best places for stargazing have minimal light pollution. The further we get away from civilisation, we are often further away from light pollution and the better the views of the night sky.

While the clear skies and lack of light pollution in middle of deserts would make for great viewing, you often don’t need to travel far for massive improvements in observing conditions. Places like national parks and large patches of countryside can have fantastic viewing conditions on clear nights so it’s always worth investigating your local area. A fantastic resource to check is the Dark Sky Discovery website. This project maps areas in the UK with dark skies that allow for much better night sky viewing than your average town.

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