Telescope against starry backdrop Dark Skies Discovery Site
Dark Sky Observing

SQM = Sky Quality Meter        QR = Quick Response code        SV = nearest StreetView point

SQM reading methodology: How to carry out a dark sky survey
OS ref, Lat:/Lon: and QR codes
Alt: Google Earth, Map images Google Maps
ISO time and date notation employed

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The Isle of Man was visited in May 2012 by Alan Brown, the North West Co-ordinator from the Dark Skies Discovery Initiative.

The purpose of his visit was to identify dark sky sites that included adequate parking facilities, level ground for disabled access, and were available to the public on a 24/7 basis.

After touring the Island with our Chairman, Howard Parkin, acting in his capacity as Public Services Officer for Manx National Heritage, seven such sites were identified. Listed on the left, all have been awarded the Dark Skies Discovery Initiative highest rating of 'Two Stars'. This status is only awarded to those dark sky sites from where the Milky Way can be clearly seen - cloud permitting, naturally!

Readers should note that the seven Dark Sky Observing locations enjoy distinctly different advantages and are therefore listed in no particular order. No one location will always be "the best". Proximity, horizon direction, on site facilities, as well as SQM readings will all have a bearing when deciding upon the location to observe from.

What do the SQM numbers mean? In simple terms, the larger the number the darker the sky. The highest reading achievable anywhere is unlikely to exceed 22.0. To learn more about "Magnitudes per Square Arc Second", which is what the SQM is recording, please visit the Unihedron FAQ webpage.

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