Dark Sky Nights

Point Pelee National Park

Point Pelee National Park was designated as a Dark Sky Preserve (DSP) by the Windsor Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) in 2006. What does it mean to be a Dark Sky Preserve? It means that the park is one of the best places to explore the night sky in Canada. A dark sky preserve is an astronomy park where the night sky glows, making millions of stars visible to the naked eye. The darkest nights are during a new moon, when the moon is not visible in the sky. On the nights listed below, the park will be open until midnight for the best stargazing experience. 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 Pont Pelee will not only benefit stargazers, but wildlife as well. 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 to a minimum while ensuring public safety. Light fixtures must respect dark sky protocols to prevent excessive light and glare. Point Pelee National Park is committed to reducing artificial light pollution within its buffer zone. 

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

Explore the park after dark and experience the dark skies of Point Pelee National Park. You will have the opportunity to stay late and experience the park at night. Visitors can pick up a seasonal star chart at the front gate upon arrival. The park is open until midnight, unless otherwise stated.

  • January 6, 2024
  • February 3, 2024*
  • March 9, 2024 - Indigenous astronomy presentation
  • April 13, 2024*
  • May 4, 2024
  • June 29, 2024* - Moth Presentation with Maurice Bottos
  • July 6, 2024 - Bat Presentation with Dan Riskin
  • August 9 and 10, 2024*
    • The park will stay open all night August 9 to August 11 (Open at 6 am August 9, close at 10 pm August 11)
  • September 7, 2024
  • October 5, 2024*
  • December 7, 2024*

*The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) will be onsite with telescopes to facilitate star gazing. RASC attendance is weather permitting as cloudy skies inhibit night sky viewing. Cloudy skies or clear, the park will be open until 12 am unless otherwise stated.

Dark Sky Viewing Tips

  • Check the weather before heading out.
  • Take along a star chart or download a star gazing app, and bring a pair of binoculars - or a 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 lots are the best car-accessible stargazing locations.

Resources

For more information

For further information on special events or regular programs:

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