International Dark Sky Places

Stars over Big Bend National Park by Tyler Nordgren

   Interest in our International Dark Sky Places is on the
   rise.  Learn all about them here.>>

Three tiers designate the quality of night skies the reserve is recognized for. Gold represents the highest award representing the darkest skies, followed by the Silver and Bronze designations. Requirements for each of the designations are shown in the table below. 

 

 

GoldGold

GoldSilver

GoldBronze

Artificial Light and Skyglow

Typical observer is not distracted by glary light sources. Light domes are only dim and restricted to sky close to horizon.

Point light sources and glary lights do not dominate nighttime scene. Light domes present around horizon but do not stretch to zenith.

Areas with greater artificial light and skyglow than Silver, but where aspects of the natural sky are still visible.

Visual Limiting Magnitude

Equal or greater than 6.8 under clear skies and good seeing conditions

6.0 to 6.7 under clear skies and good conditions

5.0-5.9 under clear skies and good seeing conditions

Bortle Sky Class

1-3

3-5

5-6

Observable Sky Phenomena

The full array of visible sky phenomena can be viewed—e.g. aurora, airglow, Milky Way, zodiacal light, and faint meteors

Brighter sky phenomena can be regularly viewed, with fainter ones sometimes visible. Milky Way is visible in summer and winter.

Many sky phenomena cannot be seen. Milky Way is faintly seen when pointed out, as is Andromeda Galaxy.

Unihedron Sky Quality Meter

21.75 or above

21.00 or above

20.00 or above

 

The International Dark-Sky Association continues to accept applications from reserves wishing to join in the ranks of the highest prestige for nighttime visages.

If you are interested in applying or learning more about the process please fill out this form

Download the Current Guidelines

Applications received on or before the 23 March 2015 submission deadline are eligible to apply under the 2013 program guidelines. Download them here:

Download the Guidelines (2013)

Download Chinese translation of the 2013 guidelines: 點擊此處下載指南: 黑暗的天空儲備 (Dark Sky Reserve)

Download the IDA-RASC-Guidelines for Outdoor Lighting

 

Download Chinese translation of the IDA-RASC-GOL: 點擊此處下載指南: 室外照明指引

 

 Translations courtesy of IDA Beijing / Starry Sky Project of China

 

Submission Deadline Dates:

24 November 2014
26 January 2015
23 March 2015
25 May 2015
27 July 2015
28 September 2015
23 November 2015

 

Download Chinese translation of the 2013 guidelines: 點擊此處下載指南: 黑暗的天空儲備 (Dark Sky Reserve)
 
 

Certified International Dark Sky Reserves

Name

Location

Year Established

Tier

Mont Mégantic

Quebec, Canada

2008

Gold

Exmoor National Park

Devon and Somerset Counties, England, United Kingdom

2011

Gold

Aoraki Mackenzie

New Zealand

2012

Gold

NamibRand Nature Reserve

Namibia

2012

Gold

Brecon Beacons National Park

Wales, UK

2013

Gold

Pic du Midi International Dark Sky Reserve / Réserve Internationale de Ciel Étoilé du Pic du Midi

France

2013

Gold

Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve

Ireland

2014

Gold

Westhavelland International Dark Sky Reserve / Sternenpark Westhavelland

Brandenburg, Germany

2014

Gold
Rhön International Dark Sky Reserve / Sternenpark Rhön
Hesse
 Bavaria and Thuringia, Germany  2014  Gold