One of Ireland’s most westerly points, Valentia Island is linked to the mainland by the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge at Portmagee, and a car ferry also departs from Reenard Point to Knightstown—the island’s main settlement—from April to October. Accomodations are plentiful and camping is allowed in certain areas. Amateur astronomy is an important activit at Valentia as the island lies in the buffer zone of the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, and the far side of the island can provide great stargazing with dark skies reaching class 2 in the Bortle scale. Winters in the island are very mild considering its northerly latitude, and a stargazer who visited the island told EarthSky that “the skies are always dark during the winter.”
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.