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International Dark Sky Sanctuaries

International Dark Sky Sanctuaries Image

Moonrise over the telescope domes on Cerro Tololo, with the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds visible and the Galactic Center rising. (Photo by Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy)

An IDA Dark Sky Sanctuary is public or private land that has an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected for its scientific, natural, or educational value, its cultural heritage and/or public enjoyment.

A sanctuary differs from a Dark Sky Park or Reserve in that it is typically situated in a very remote location with few (if any) nearby threats to the quality of its dark night skies and it does not otherwise meet the requirements for designation as a park or reserve. The typical geographic isolation of Dark Sky Sanctuaries significantly limits opportunities for public outreach, so a sanctuary designation is specifically designed to increase awareness of these fragile sites and promote their long-term conservation.

Certified IDA International Dark Sky Sanctuaries

If you are interested in applying or learning more about how to become a Dark Sky Sanctuary click here.

2017 Submission Deadline Dates

28 November 2016 23 January 2017
27 March 2017 22 May 2017
24 July  2017 25 September 2017
27 November 2017

Apply Now

Download the Guidelines

Chinese translation courtesy of IDA Beijing / Starry Sky Project of China

Helpful hints

Guidance on how to conduct a night sky quality survey

For current International Dark Sky Sanctuaries

Writing Dark Sky Sanctuary Annual Reports