Mayo Dark Sky Park is located between the Nephin Mountain Range and the Atlantic coastline and extends an area of 150 square km (37,000 acres). It is Ireland’s first Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park, after this award was extended to the Ballycroy National Park in 2016. The park is now known under both names. The Gold Tier award is the highest level to be given, which means the Mayo Dark Sky Park is internationally recognized to showcase some of the darkest, most pristine skies in the world. The park hosts program throughout the years, including the guided Dark Sky Educational Programme, school programs, and organized guided tours for groups (this requires prior booking). The Visitor Centre is closed during some winter months, but viewing sites within the park are open all year round.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.