Location darkness

In the display below where you see stars on a black background indicates when the skies are dark enough to Go Stargazing. Yellow sections show when the skies are not dark due to sunlight (bold yellow) and moonlight (faded yellow).



When the skies are dark is determined from the following:

Longitude and latitude co-ordinates are used to calculate sun and moon rise and set times for this specific location.

Darkness is determined to be from nautical dusk in the evening through to nautical dawn the following morning — at these times it is suitable for astronomical observations and the Milky Way to be clearly visible from darker sites — the perfect time to Go Stargazing!

Moonlight is the natural light pollution emitted by the moon and means the skies are only truly dark during certain nights of the lunar cycle, how much the moon is illuminated and it’s rise and set times determine if and when the moon will affect night-time skies. When the moon is less than 10% illuminated (thin crescent) it is not considered to have any effect.

Moon rise and set when the moon is 50% illuminated (half moon) or less it is only considered to affect dark skies if it is above 10 degrees above the horizon — when the moon is lower than this moonlight is not presumed to shine into the skies enough to affect observing them.

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