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19 October 2012
Castlehill Awarded Dark Sky Discovery Site Designation

Castlehill Awarded Dark Sky Discovery Site Designation

Caithness Astronomy Group has been successful in its quest to have Castlehill Heritage Centre officially designated as a 'Dark Sky Discovery Site'. It was announced at the end of October that Castlehill is one of eighteen new sites to be so designated - and somewhat surprisingly it's the first one north of Inverness! The eighteen sites have been approved by the Science and Technology Facilities Council-led Dark Sky Discovery programme as safe, accessible areas with reduced light pollution that are good for seeing the stars.

The above photo shows Hugh Crowden accepting the Dark Sky Discovery Site Certificate on behalf of the Castlehill Heritage Centre. Presenting the certificate is CAG Secretary Alan Kennedy who assisted in completing and submitting the required nomination documentation.

Any who have visited the site on a clear moonless night will know that it is a superb place to enjoy views of the night sky..........

Above photo of the Milky Way at Castlehill is by Stewart Watt (www.underhighlandskies.com)

Dan Hillier, Project Lead for the Dark Sky Discovery programme who is based at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh said "It is great to see this project continuing to grow. The fact that Dark Sky Discovery continues to gain such momentum is testament to the hard work of all those involved with either nominating local stargazing sites or arranging events for the public to take part in". The Dark Sky Discovery programme aims to involve as many different communities as possible and encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to consider taking part in stargazing activities.

A delighted Gordon Mackie, Chairman of Caithness Astronomy Group, was keen to emphasise the benefits of Castlehill "The Northern Highlands of Scotland are lucky enough to have some of the darkest skies in Western Europe and it's great to see the first Dark Sky Discovery Site in the far north of the UK is Castlehill Heritage Centre, where Caithness Astronomy Group hold many of their events."

See also - www.castletownheritage.co.uk



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