Stargazing park with Northern Lights experience to open in Ireland

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Digital Desk staff

A new stargazing park is set to open in Ireland next month, where stargazers will be able to enjoy crystal clear views of constellations with “some of the darkest skies in the world in an area free from light pollution.”

The park is set in the foothills of Co Tyrone’s Sperrin Mountains in Davagh Forest and is one of just 78 across the world and the second on the island of Ireland.

The €1.3 million OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory is set to open on October 17th, when a new moon is in the sky.

This is a unique development in a truly special place, with an ancient landscape, amazing archaeology, including Beaghmore Stone Circles which is considered by some to have been the first observatory on this land.

“This is a unique development in a truly special place, with an ancient landscape, amazing archaeology, including Beaghmore Stone Circles which is considered by some to have been the first observatory on this land, all under the darkest of skies with unrivalled views of the galaxy,” Mid-Ulster Council Chair, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan said.

Northern Lights

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The stargazing experience includes a visitor centre and observatory with a retractable roof where a 14-inch LX600 Meade telescope will be in action during special star-gazing events and VIP tours.

The visitor centre will use state-of-the-art technology to deliver a “completely immersive experience” for visitors, including touch screens, binoculars, mini-telescopes and interpretative panels to help visitors explore the solar system.

Visitors will also be able to witness the birth of a star and the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, by donning a virtual reality headset.

The night-time experience at the park will include an outdoor film screening which “speeds the audience from urban lights into the vastness of the universe or swoops them through an ancient forest, under the fast-flowing Broughderg River before they soar into the sky.”

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