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International Dark Sky Sanctuaries

International Dark Sky Sanctuaries Image

Moonrise over the telescope domes on Cerro Tololo, with the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds visible and the Galactic Center rising. (Photo by Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy)

An IDA Dark Sky Sanctuary is public or private land that has an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected for its scientific, natural, or educational value, its cultural heritage and/or public enjoyment.

A sanctuary differs from a Dark Sky Park or Reserve in that it is typically situated in a very remote location with few (if any) nearby threats to the quality of its dark night skies and it does not otherwise meet the requirements for designation as a park or reserve. The typical geographic isolation of Dark Sky Sanctuaries significantly limits opportunities for public outreach, so a sanctuary designation is specifically designed to increase awareness of these fragile sites and promote their long-term conservation.

Certified IDA International Dark Sky Sanctuaries

2018 Submission Deadline Dates

29 January 2018 26 March 2018
28 May 2018 23 July 2018
24 September  2018 26 November 2018
28 January 2019

Download the Guidelines

Chinese translation courtesy of IDA Beijing / Starry Sky Project of China

Lighting Management Plan guidance:

Helpful hints

Guidance on how to conduct a night sky quality survey

For current International Dark Sky Sanctuaries

Writing Dark Sky Sanctuary Annual Reports