Dark Sky Observatory
Dark Sky Observatory
NI Connections
Tue 14 May
News

Star gazers to flock to Northern Ireland's first Dark Sky Observatory

The new centre will be located in Davagh Forest, Cookstown

Construction has commenced on a new £1.25m Dark Sky Observatory being developed by Mid Ulster District Council.

The Davagh Dark Sky Observatory will house an exhibition, observatory and telescope to showcase the uniquely dark sky at the ancient site in the Sperrins, giving visitors an opportunity to experience the night sky as it is rarely viewed – and as it would have been seen centuries ago by our ancestors.  It will be located close to the ancient Beaghmore Stone Circles, away from the lights of built up areas.

Combining the latest tech, from holographic installations to virtual reality headsets with colourful, accessible interpretation panels and hands-on activities, visitors to the centre will be able to explore our solar system from our sun and moon to our stars and the planets.

The centre piece of the space will be a star-gazing telescope, opening up the opportunities to view the night sky without light pollution and establishing Davagh as the only official ‘dark sky’ reserve in Northern Ireland.  The centre will also host events and offer an education programme.

The Observatory is scheduled to open in spring 2020.

Mid Ulster is very fortunate to possess this unique and impressive tourist attraction, Davagh Dark Sky, within its boundaries. The new observatory and visitor centre will allow us to properly showcase this one-of-a-kind offering by providing visitors with a full and interactive experience truly encapsulating the depth of history and mystery the site commands.

Councillor Sean McPeake, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council

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