Dark sky status

The big open skies of the North York Moors are breathtaking by day and also by night when the dark sky panorama is revealed. There are many spots in the National Park that are perfect for star gazing but Sutton Bank and Dalby Observatories should top the list.

People inspired by the BBC’s recent Stargazing Live series should head for the site of the Dalby Observatories in the North York Moors National Park as the area has been named as an official Dark Sky Discovery Site, Milky Way class.

In 2012, Sutton Bank was given Dark Sky status (Milky Way class) as in addition to its dark skies it has the added bonus of being accessible to surrounding towns and villages.

A combination of low light pollution levels, clear horizons and good public access helped secure Sutton Bank the accolade making it the first in the National Park. 

Sutton Bank and Dalby Observatories have been given  Milky Way class by the Dark Sky Discovery initiative because the galaxy is often visible to the naked eye from the sites.

Dark Skies events

Public observing at Dalby

Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society holds stargazing events in Dalby Forest on the 1st Friday of each month between October and March each year between 8pm and 10pm. More information from the Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society website. 

Dark skies at Sutton Bank 

The National Park Authority teams up with experts from York Astronomical Society to hold stargazing events at Sutton Bank National Park Centre to introduce people to the wonders of the night sky. The next event is 2 November 2013, 6.30pm to 8pm.

Useful links

Sutton Bank National Park Centre

Dark Sky Discovery website

York Astronomical Society website

Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society 



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