Dark sky nights
Point Pelee was designated as a Dark Sky Preserve (DSP) by the Windsor Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) in 1996. What does it mean to be a Dark Sky Preserve? It means that the Point Pelee National Park Dark Sky Preserve is one of the best places to explore the night sky in Canada. One can think of a dark sky preserve as an astronomy park where the night sky glows with millions of stars visible to the naked eye. The darkest nights happen during the new moon, when the moon isn't visible in our sky. On the nights listed below, the park will be open until midnight for the best stargazing experiences. Bring your binoculars or a telescope!
As a DSP, Point Pelee National Park is committed to protecting the night-time environment from the effects of artificial lighting. Educating visitors about the ecological and cultural importance of dark skies are key elements of the DSP program. Protecting the dark sky of Pelee will benefit stargazers as well as wildlife. Many plants, animals and insects rely on the darkness of the night to forage, breed and navigate. These activities are adversely affected by light pollution.
In a DSP, artificial lighting at night is kept at a minimum while ensuring public safety. Light fixtures must respect dark sky protocols to prevent excessive lighting and glare. Point Pelee National Park is committed to reduce artificial light pollution within the preserve’s buffer area.
Ways you can promote responsible lighting:
- Direct outdoor home lights downward
- Turn off lights when not in use
- Use low wattage lights
- Use dimmer controls and timers where possible
- Think better light, not more light
Dark Sky Nights with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
Join members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Windsor Centre for an evening of stargazing. Bring your own binoculars or take a look through one of the special telescopes on site for the evening. The park is open until midnight unless otherwise stated.
- April 6, 8:00 pm, Visitor Centre Parking Lot
- June 1, 8:30 pm, Visitor Centre Parking Lot
- August 10, 9:00 pm to August 11, 2:00 am, West Beach
Self-Guided Dark Sky Nights
Explore the park on your own after dark and experience the dark skies of Point Pelee. You will have the opportunity to stay late and experience Point Pelee at night. Note that there are no formal programs on these evenings. Visitors can pick up a seasonal star chart at the gate upon arrival. The park is open until midnight, unless otherwise stated.
- February 2, 2019
- March 9, 2019
- May 18, 2019
- July 27, 2019
- September 28, 2019
Dark Sky Viewing Tips:
- Check the weather before heading out.
- Take along a star chart or download a star gazing app, and a pair of binoculars, or telescope.
- Use red cellophane over your flashlight. Red light is less obtrusive than traditional white light, and helps to retain your night vision.
- West Beach and the Visitor Centre parking lot are the best car-accessible stargazing locations.
- Parks Canada's Dark Sky Preserves
- The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
- The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Windsor Centre
For more information
For further information on our special events or regular programs:
- Call: 519-322-2365 Ext. 0 or
- E-mail: email@example.com