Photo L- R: Dr. Frank Prendergast, Dr. Vincent Casey, Apollo 15 Astronaut Al Worden, Frank Ryan, Paul Ryan & Robert Ryan.
A recent test of the dark skies overhead the lake of Lough Gur found readings of 22.9. This is a staggering reading for the area given its close proximity to neighbouring towns. It is believed that the hills of Knockfennel and Knockadoon shield the light from theses villages to preserve the darkness around Lough Gur.
The main benefits for this research include the improvement in quality of life for animals and humans alike. The science behind the reduction in light and the positive effect that is has on overall health stand proven. As a designated National Heritage Area Lough Gur is working towards maintaining the dark skies of Lough Gur by filing for Dark Sky Park status.
Astronaut & Patron of Lough Gur, Al Worden officially launched the Dark Sky Park Initiative on June 8th 2015. The event included a presentation by the Shannonside Astronomy Club detailing the importance of dark sky preservation. The areas to consider when planning for an application of this size were addressed along with highlighting the awards associated with a project of this magnitude.
We continue our quest in 2017 to secure Dark Sky Park status with assistance from members of the Lough Gur Science advisory group project managed by Paul Ryan and supported by Dr. Frank Prendergast along with members of the Lough Gur Development team.
We invite you to explore the latest section to our website where we are sharing information on our Dark Sky Project, along with making our data available via our online interactive pages. This information is freely available for you to use, along with ideas for the classroom as a fun supplement to existing space, nature & geography lessons in schools.
On July 28th the International Space University will visit Lough Gur and witness the launch of incredible dark sky data that was recorded over one year to support Lough Gur’s Dark Sky Park quest.