Rum bidding for Dark Sky Island status to boost astro-tourism

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Photo: STEVEN GRAY. Retrieved from

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A Scottish island where stargazers can view the Milky Way with the naked eye is bidding to protect its clear night skies and boost visitor numbers.

Residents on Rum are hoping it will be recognised as a Dark Sky Island.

They have been preparing an application to the International Dark Sky Association.

It combats light pollution worldwide, and grants official recognition to areas which implement policies which reduce artificial light.

Scotland currently has two dark sky parks – Galloway Forest and Cairngorms.

Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway and the islands of Coll and North Ronaldsay are also certified as dark sky communities.

In recent years, the community of just 30 people on Rum have made efforts to overhaul the island’s lighting system.

There are no streetlights and this is combined with hardly any buildings and no traffic.

When the sun sets, locals and visitors alike can experience a naturally dark sky, and enjoy views of the meteors, shooting stars, and twinkling planets.

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